Following the introduction of the Healthy Child Wales Programme in October 2016, which set out what planned contacts children and their families can expect from their health boards from maternity service handover to the first years of schooling (0-7 years), Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Care, Children, Young People, and Older People, has expressed her concern at the finding that all eligible children are not receiving their contact, and called on Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, to take urgent action to address this.
“The Healthy Child Wales Programme (HCWP) is of significant importance to parents and the health and welfare of their children aged up to 7 years.
“The programme aims include supporting families make long term health enhancing choices, helping positive parent-child relationships, assisting children meet all growth and developmental milestones, protecting children from avoidable childhood diseases through a universal immunisation, and ensuring early detection of problems through a universal screening programme.
“From January to June 2018 there were 142,632 children eligible for a Healthy Child Wales contact, however, only 73% of these received a contact.
“Evan more concerning is the fact that when looking at the various child age groups, the percentage of children receiving contacts at 3.5 years was 53% - a problem which has existed since the programme was first introduced.
“Going forward, I have challenged the Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care with the hope of ensuring that more if not every eligible child is receiving contact”.
Written Assembly Question:
Will the Minister make a statement on the fact that only 73% of eligible children under the Healthy Child Wales Programme received their contact, and explain what measures he will take to improve on this and especially children receiving contact at 3.5 years?