Infant First Aid Training for Parents — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:29 pm on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:29 pm, 3rd April 2019

The hon. Lady will be aware that there has been a fall in the number of health visitors, following a peak in 2015. I am extremely committed to making sure that we have an ample supply of health visitors, because they are on the frontline of early intervention; they are an army. She will know that the NHS long-term plan, recognising that local authorities have borne the brunt of fiscal discipline in this area, explicitly says that we will strengthen the relationship between the NHS and local authorities in this space, because that is clearly good for health outcomes. I hope that that reassures the hon. Lady.

I could go on for much longer, Mr Hollobone, but I do not want to stretch your indulgence unduly. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Truro and Falmouth for all her work on this matter and on raising awareness of sepsis. We will continue to co-operate in this area. I can tell her that Public Health England very much has this area on its radar, in terms of giving advice to parents on how best to look after their children. We will continue to work with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to establish a single, England-wide paediatric early warning system to improve the recognition and response of healthcare services to deteriorating children or young people across England in primary and community care, including in the ambulance service and hospitals. Information and advice to help parents recognise and respond to signs and symptoms of ill health are freely available.

We must continue to champion and promote this cause. I thank midwives and health visitors for their tremendous work—they play such an important role in this—as well as providers of first aid courses. I look forward to engaging with my hon. Friend further on this matter.