A report from the Director of Public Health was presented to the Board that provided a summary of the health and wellbeing and health needs of children and young people and their families in Halton.
Members were referred to page 35 which provided various data of the health outcomes of children and young people in Halton. The report also discussed:
· Infant mortality;
· Low Birth Weight;
· Smoking at time of delivery;
· Dental Health;
· Child Development;
· Teenage conception of deliveries;
· Admissions to hospital due to alcohol;
· Appendix 1 – Health outcomes for children and young people in Halton comparing 2016 CHIMAT data to the 2015 profile; and
· Appendix 2 – an example of a children’s Ward health profile (The Grange).
The report was discussed by the Board and the following queries/comments were made:
· Working mothers needed to be encouraged to breast feed for as long as possible; some new mothers are under pressure to return to work quickly after the birth of their child due to financial pressures, which can discourage breastfeeding;
· Leaflets could be distributed in workplaces to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the positive health impacts for baby throughout life. Work was underway with workplaces to help employers to understand how they can support their staff with young babies;
· All mothers are given a choice on whether or not to breastfeed and would be supported by the health visitor either way. Services strived to give women the information required to make a fully informed decision;
· Challenges regarding child obesity being higher than the national average were noted, as was the work of the Healthy Child Programme which was addressing this;
· An example of a children’s ward health profile was attached at appendix 2; however all ward profiles could be accessed on the following link: www.halton.gov.uk/JSNA;
· Paragraph 3.12 (Child Development) was highlighted as a priority area and examples of the work being carried out in this area was explained. It was noted that the first 1001 days of a child’s life were a critical period of brain growth and adverse events, such as a neglect, will impact upon the growth of the brain and the child will suffer the effects of this for the rest of their life;
· With reference to the 90% take up of free education for 3 and 4 year olds in Halton and why this was not higher, this could be attributed to access problems such as living too far away from the settings and transport issues;
· Why was there an increase in the numbers of Children in Care (CIC) – this was for a number of reasons other than poverty, such as parents with alcohol and drug dependencies; mental health issues and learning disabilities. Overall the profile had changed across the North West region, not just in Halton; and
· The gap in the numbers of teenage pregnancies reported and the numbers of live births was due to terminations.
The Chair thanked the Public Health representative for her attendance and they were invited to attend a future meeting of the Board.
RESOLVED: That the contents of the report and comments made be noted.