Skip to main content

Health: Young People

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst teenagers in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. (245019)

The Department is working closely with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills across England to address healthy lifestyles for children and young people on a variety of key health issues, including sexual health, tobacco and alcohol.

Holistic health initiatives include the Healthy Schools Programme, the developing Healthy Further Education Programme and the development of a new Child Health Promotion Programme for five to 19-year-olds, as well as the availability of the NHS Teen LifeCheck (a quick quiz-style online questionnaire for 12 to 15-year-olds).

There is also specific action on alcohol as set out in “The Youth Alcohol Action Plan” (CM7387) (DCSF) published in June 2008 and media campaigns such as the RU Thinking campaign and the Want Respect: Use a Condom campaign which address sexual health. A copy of “The Youth Alcohol Action Plan” is available in the Library.

All these activities are aimed at supporting young people throughout England. Each Government office, primary care trust and local authority receives support and guidance from the Department to ensure optimum implementation across their local area. In addition, the Department funded the two-year Teenage Health Demonstration Sites pilot to examine ways of delivering better health information, advice and guidance to young people. Northumberland was one of the four demonstration sites. The evaluation report will be available in the new year, and early results look promising.