Universal child health programme launched in Wales

The Welsh government has launched a programme that will ensure every child up to the age of seven receives consistent and universal health services in Wales.

Healthy Child Wales, launched by the Minister for Social Services and Public Health Rebecca Evans, is one of the Welsh Government’s priorities in its programme for government, Taking Wales Forward 2016-21.

The programme will establish a universal health programme for all families with children up to the age of seven, to include a consistent range of evidence based preventative and early intervention measures such as screening and developmental checks. The programme will also provide advice and guidance to support parenting and healthy lifestyle choices.

At its core the programme sets out what planned contacts children and their families can expect from their health boards from the maternity service handover to the first years of schooling. These universal contacts cover three areas of intervention: screening; immunisation; and monitoring and supporting child development.

Evans said: “Healthy Child Wales, which has been a collaborative service-led programme, has given us the opportunity to reassess health services for children and use the latest evidence to develop an agreed all Wales approach to monitoring and supporting child development.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the health professionals who have contributed to the development of Healthy Child Wales.”