Start Well

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Every child has a strong, healthy start to life; from maternal health, through the first thousand days, to reaching adulthood.

Our work will focus on:

Supporting families
  • Ensuring that all mothers, parents, children and young people have access to the support they need to achieve good family health and wellbeing
  • Improving educational achievement across the whole of our population to better prepare children and young people for employment
  • Supporting children, young people and their families who are most vulnerable and need support from a range of services

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) has more young people aged 0-14 in our population compared to the national average. Across BLMK 30 to 40% of children aged 10 to 11 years are overweight or obese and 11 to 19% of children live in low income households. We have a significant proportion of babies born at a very low birth rate, especially in Luton, and children who qualify for free school meals do less well in education across BLMK.

Ultimately children who grow up in the most deprived areas of BLMK have a shorter healthy life expectancy.

That’s why we’re working to support parents, carers and children to ensure that all young people have an opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.

Our priorities in this area focus on improving health outcomes in early years and making sure that children are ready to start school. We also want to support children throughout school, especially those with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND). We will work to improve access to emotional wellbeing and mental health support to improve child and family resilience.

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Latest news and highlights


21 February 2024

“Please use NHS services wisely” call as new NHS strike goes ahead

Senior doctors in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes have again warned of potential disruption to local health services over the next week, as further industrial…


19 February 2024

ICB appoints Board-level champion to oversee progress on DennyReview health and inclusion

Lorraine Sunduza, interim Chief Executive of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), has been appointed Board champion to support the system response to the Denny…


14 February 2024

Look after your heart health this Valentine’s Day

Tennyson famously wrote that “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” but as Valentine’s Day arrives, local doctors have urged men and women of…


12 February 2024

Parents urged to use half term as chance to catch up on…

Parents of children who are not fully vaccinated against measles have been urged to use this February half term as an opportunity to get them the protection they need, as…


9 February 2024

NHS waiting list in East of England falls for third month in…

The NHS waiting list in the East of England fell in December for the third month running, despite ongoing industrial action and winter pressures continuing to hit the region’s health…


9 February 2024

Thousands in the East of England take the ‘learn while you earn’…

More than 2,400 new apprentices started with the NHS in the East of England last year providing more opportunities for people to build rewarding careers in the NHS, whilst boosting…