Report on the Healthwatch Wandsworth consultation on key health issues in early years

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Summary of report content

The London Assembly Health Committee has undertaken a consultation on health and wellbeing for children under the age of five in London, as part of a wider investigation that will influence the London Mayor’s draft Health Inequalities Strategy. Healthwatch Wandsworth wanted to hear from local people about the early years of local children because of the affect that these key years will have on their health and wellbeing. We also hope that the findings will help inform local strategies for early years support services. Healthwatch Wandsworth based their survey on the consultation of the London Assembly Health Committee but adapted it to explore issues that might be particularly important for local people. The survey was devised to collect information from parents and anyone else with an interest in this topic. The survey was open from 16th January until to 1st February 2018. Healthwatch Wandsworth advertised it on our website and social media and circulated it to our local contacts and at their regular outreach events. Healthwatch Wandsworth also ensured we received feedback from people who would have experiences to contribute by taking our survey to Chesterton Primary School baby clinic, an antenatal ward at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting and to a Family Saturday event at Battersea Arts Centre. A central theme to emerge from the survey responses was the levels of pollution and traffic in London, and the impact this has on children under five in London. The poor quality of air and traffic congestion also appeared to link to health and safety concerns about allowing children to play outside. In this respect, parents and carers repeatedly highlighted the lack of indoor and outdoor activities for children, and suggested that better promotion of services could raise awareness of pre-existing facilities. The survey responses also raised concerns about the affordability of healthy food, and the impact that income has on maintaining a healthy diet and exercising. Respondents suggested that more support and resources are needed, particularly in low socio-economic areas, to better educate people on healthy eating and to provide affordable and free exercise options for families. The feedback highlighted the need for more accessible and affordable public transport, including additional lifts and buggy space at tube and train stations, as well as the increased provision of baby friendly changing spaces across the city. Finally, the findings suggest that parents and carers of children under five often go to their GP or children’s centre for health concerns but are not always aware of other existing services. Better promotion and communication of the wide range of services available could perhaps better support the health needs of families.

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General details

Report title 
Report on the Healthwatch Wandsworth consultation on key health issues in early years
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wandsworth
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 29 May, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 16 January, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 February, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Food and nutrition
Health promotion
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.