Healthy Start Scheme: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th July 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of community and health service closures due to the covid-19 outbreak on people's access to paper vouchers used for the NHS Health Start scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made a number of changes to assist beneficiaries in applying for the Healthy Start Scheme and using their Healthy Start vouchers. This includes the removal for the requirement for a healthcare professional signature on the Healthy Start application form. This supports people to apply for the scheme and reduces pressure on healthcare professionals. All families who are eligible for Healthy Start continue to receive an invitation to apply for the scheme, together with a pre-populated application form. In addition, we have temporarily extended the validity period of three sets of vouchers, from eight weeks to 12 weeks, and will keep this under review.

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