Government Vision on Prevention - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran Conservative 1:15 pm, 6th November 2018

My Lords, I join other noble Lords in welcoming the focus on prevention. A key point in prevention is early childhood, the so-called first 1,000 days of a child’s life. I looked at the paper from the department and found several references to this, but they were nearly all in relation to the impact on adult mental health as opposed to physical health. The evidence on the impact on physical health, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer is overwhelming from the research done by some of the big health insurers in the States and from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. Will my noble friend reassure me and other noble Lords that greater prominence will be given to the prevention of the so-called adverse childhood experience, the toxic stress that very young children experience, which impacts on their mental and, crucially, physical health as adults?