Responding to the Health and Social Care Committee's report into the First 1000 Days of Life, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
"After long arguing for a vision for children's health and care in the UK it is certainly a step in the right direction that the committee is giving this area the attention it deserves.
"Child health has been notably absent from policy thinking in recent times and our own research has found that we are trailing behind our counterparts in other countries when it comes to several vital measures including breastfeeding, immunisation and obesity rates.
"The report is right to prioritise tackling social deprivation, which we know is linked with infant mortality, in order to address some of these worrying trends. I think it could have been even stronger on the need to get better data that show what is happening in all parts of children’s lives.
"The Government must take this report seriously or we will continue to fail to give children the best start in life, with consequences that will haunt them and our public services for years to come."
Notes to editors
- Read more about our work on children and young people's health, including an international study of 0-5 year olds here: https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/spotlight/children-and-young-people
- The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.