Need to reduce widening inequality say midwives on child health report

By RCM on 25 January 2017 Public Health Alcohol and pregnancy Smoking

Today (Thursday, 26th January 2017) the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) have published its The State of Child Health report. The report says that a lack of strategic national focus and persistence of a wide gap between rich and poor in the UK is damaging the health of the nation’s infants, children and young people. Areas covered in the report include smoking in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Commenting on the report, Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We welcome this year’s report from the RCPCH. As in previous reports the origin of many of the problems identified in the report lie before birth, in the health and social wellbeing of mothers. Interventions before and during pregnancy can produce long term health gains for both mother and child.

“In particular, we need to see improvements in many areas and to encourage changes in people’s lifestyles. This includes improvements in breastfeeding rates, reductions in drinking and smoking in pregnancy and reductions in obesity among many issues.

“There is also a pressing need to reduce the widening inequality in the UK. Those in the most disadvantaged groups, adults and children, are the ones often suffering from poorer general health and poorer outcomes for mother and baby in pregnancy.

“All of this needs investment in resources and in staff, but it is investment that will pay dividends in the long run, saving the NHS money and most importantly ensuring we have a healthier population, with fewer illnesses.”

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Notes to editors

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