Investment in preventative services is needed to ensure healthy development in childhood and beyond Health Foundation response to Health and Social Care Committee report on the First 1000 days of life

25 February 2019

Commenting on the Health and Social Care Committee report on the First 1000 days of life, Tim Elwell-Sutton, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Health Foundation, said:

‘We welcome the Committee’s recommendation for an ambitious cross-government strategy to reduce child poverty and address widening inequalities. What’s needed now is investment in preventative, health-creating services, to ensure healthy development in childhood and beyond.

'In the face of huge financial constraints over the past decade of austerity, investment in creating healthy environments for children has suffered. Local authority spending on children’s services has drifted away from prevention and towards acute crisis management. Cuts to the public health grant are also having an impact, with spending on children’s services for 0-4-year-olds already falling by 9% since 2016/17 and set to fall further next year (2019/20) - amounting to an overall reduction of 15%.

'Failing to recognise that people's health is a national asset which requires long-term, upstream investment will only store up more problems for the future. Support must now be provided to improve living conditions for children – including their family’s income, housing and quality of work.’

Further reading

Read the Health Foundation’s response to the Health and Social Care Committee Inquiry into the First 1000 days of life.

Media contact

Grace Everest 


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