Research and policy
Policy: The child health strategy - healthy lives, better futures
1 Feb 2009
The strategy sets out the principles of the relationship between parents and services, and plans for universal, targeted and specialist support across three life stages, the first being pregnancy and early years. Included are plans to revamp antenatal classes for new parents, to include training in how to look after their babies, and the prospect of more health visitors based in children's centres.
Specifically for pregnancy and early years, the strategy lists the following improvements:
- Further development of the health visitor workforce to deliver the Healthy Child Programme.
- The development of a new Antenatal and Preparation for Parenthood programme that will help engage parents, including those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
- The expansion of the successful Family Nurse Partnership Programme, which provides intensive support from highly trained nurses for the most vulnerable first-time mothers.
- A strengthened role for Sure Start Children's Centres - both through additional health-based programmes, focusing on reducing obesity and smoking, and by ensuring that each centre has access to a named health visitor.
To download the strategy visit www.dh.gov.uk.