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Health Services: Children

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to reduce inequalities in access to health services for children. (287304)

“Healthy lives brighter futures”, the strategy for children and young people’s health identified tackling inequalities as a key area for improvement. It sets out plans for universal, targeted and specialist support across three life stages—early years and pregnancy, schools age and young people—as well as the additional support for children and young people in need of acute or ongoing health care, including a range of measures to address inequalities. It is for primary care trusts working with local authorities and other local partners to ensure their local needs assessment and planning addresses the full range of local needs, and that the local service offer is communicated to all families. A copy of the strategy has already been placed in the Library.

Examples of specific initiatives include the family nurse partnership, while the universal programme for all, the Healthy Child programme, includes preventative services for children with additional risks.

Tackling health inequalities in children is also a key theme of the national health inequalities strategy, the “Programme for Action”, and reducing the infant mortality gap between routine and manual group and the whole of the population is part of the health inequalities 2010 public service agreement target. A national support team for infant mortality designed to improve infant and maternal health outcomes and service delivery in disadvantaged areas was launched on 22 April 2009. A copy of “Programme for Action” has been placed in the Library.