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2018 Director of Public Health Annual Report

This year's report "The best start in life" focuses on children's health and how inequalities can affect their futures.

We look at a range of issues from pregnancy through to teenagers and include oral health, school readiness, mental health and the impact of living in a cold home. 

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Read the Director of Public Health Annual report 2018

Child poverty as an issue is growing and there are no signs to suggest that the risk of poverty will improve in the short term and the potential for poor outcomes and widening inequalities is great. The focus of this report is the impact of poverty on children’s health from pregnancy through to the end of primary school.

We have chosen to focus on this age range because this is where evidence shows that offering support to parents, families and children can be most effective in reducing the impacts of poverty and deprivation on children’s health.

We do however recognise that there is a large body of work happening to support children right through to adulthood and as they become parents themselves. Although, we are primarily looking at impacts on younger children, we will include some data on the health and wellbeing of older children.

We will look at a range of health and wellbeing indicator areas where poverty is known to have an impact on children’s development, and where inequalities in outcomes exist. We have also included some information on adverse childhood experiences.

We have also included a view on health in cold homes as a result of fuel poverty. In addition, we provide a brief update on progress with the recommendations from last year’s Public Health Annual Report, “Health starts where we live”, as well as some useful population level statistics.