The BDA’s response to Labour's Child Health Action Plan

08 Feb 2024

The BDA welcomes the Labour Party's commitment to improving child health through its Child Health Action Plan. The plan addresses critical issues such as cutting paediatric waiting times, reducing obesity, introducing breakfast clubs for all primary school children and banning junk food advertising aimed at children, all of which align with our core policy objectives.

Liz Stockley, CEO of the BDA says, “As front-line health professionals, the dietetic workforce sees the effects of poor nutrition in children every day. The issues are multi-faceted and extremely complex but we are well placed and ready to collaborate with political parties on sensible solutions to improve health outcomes for our young people.”

We have consistently highlighted the importance of comprehensive strategies to address child health disparities, and we commend political commitment to reducing waiting times for paediatric services. Ensuring timely access to healthcare is of paramount importance in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our nation's children.

Moreover, the focus on ending long NHS waits for children's care aligns with our advocacy for a robust and accessible healthcare system, which relates to our NHS Workforce campaign. We share the concern about lengthy waiting lists, especially for children, and believe that prompt intervention is essential for their physical, psychological, and social development.

While the Labour Party's plan encompasses areas such as mental health and general paediatric care, we’d like to emphasise the significance of a holistic approach which incorporates nutrition. We draw attention to our ongoing campaigns, such as the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils, which sadly has not been identified as part of the plan at this time. However, we would welcome the funding of breakfast clubs at every primary school, which forms part of our broader advocacy efforts in addressing child health disparities and promoting access to nutritious food.

In conclusion, the BDA appreciates the Labour Party's commitment to child health, and we look forward to further details on the implementation of these plans. We echo the sentiment that prioritising children's health is of the utmost importance for the future wellbeing and prosperity of our nation. The BDA stands ready to collaborate with all political parties to ensure that the unique health and dietary needs of children are met promptly and comprehensively.

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