Northampton blogger and YouTuber Louise Pentland delivered a petition to Downing Street this week urging the government to ensure families receive the five medical visits to which they are entitled.
Louise, one of the UK’s top parenting vloggers, turned up at Number 10 on Monday May 16 with the NSPCC to hand in the ‘Fight for a Fair Start’ petition.
The petition, launched by the NSPCC, urges the government to ensure that all new parents receive at least five face-to-face health visits – with the same health visitor, if possible – to support families at risk of health problems perinatal mental.
NSPCC Ambassador Louise said: “This specific petition – ‘Fight for a Fair Start’ – is incredibly poignant to me. It emphasizes the need for mental health support for new parents. I have two young daughters, so I know only too well how imperative this is.
“It was wonderful to spend the day with the NSPCC team and the families they help. Ultimately, it’s great to see real change and progress in this industry.
The “Fight for a Fair Start” petition received nearly 22,000 signatures in total.
According to the latest data from Public Health England, 19% of babies in 2021 have not received their 12 month health visit check by the age of 15 months.
The NSPCC wrote an open letter to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, which was signed by 25 organizations and several MPs from all parties, urging the government to rebuild the medical visits service and improve access to health services mindset for new parents.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: ‘For most families across England this test is the only check they are entitled to between their baby aged six to eight weeks and two and a half years old. , which is an extremely important period for the mental health of the parents and the development of the child.
“With an increasing number of families missing this check and others, we are concerned that new parents with mental health issues are being overlooked and left to struggle on their own without help.”
The NSPCC also hosted a parliamentary reception for its campaign following the delivery of its petition so that MPs could hear from parents about their experiences with perinatal mental health issues and the importance of the medical visitation service.
NSPCC CEO Sir Peter Wanless and Louise Pentland attended the reception.
Louise said: “Visiting Number 10 Downing Street and the House of Commons on Monday was a whirlwind and real to-do list moment for me.
“I’ve worked with the NSPCC for many years now, but I’ve been an official ambassador for a few years, which has been wonderful.”
The parenting blogger raised nearly £40,000 last month in funding for Childline and the NSPCC ahead of ‘Children’s Day 2022’ on June 10.