Report on the Healthwatch Wandsworth consultation on key health issues in early yearsDownload (PDF 152KB)
Summary of report contentThe 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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Report on the Healthwatch Wandsworth consultation on key health issues in early years
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
Food and nutrition
Healthwatch reference number
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?
Primary care services
Number of people who shared their views
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?
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?