Antenatal Care and Children's Play: Facilities

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support the Government plans to provide for (a) soft play centres and (b) maternal classes when those facilities reopen after the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active and the Government has been committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so. On 13 August, the Government announced that indoor play and indoor soft play venues could open from 15 August. Indoor play and indoor soft play venues have been able to access the unprecedented financial support package that the Government has provided businesses across the economy during the pandemic.

Antenatal classes are provided by the NHS. Like all areas of NHS care, maternity services will be affected by the pandemic, but antenatal contact and new baby visits should continue. Maternity units are working to ensure services are provided in a way that is safe, supported by greater use of digital and remote technologies.

Video consultation capability by NHS providers has rapidly been scaled up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attend Anywhere is a web-based video consultation platform intended for use on tablets, smartphones, laptops or PC’s with a webcam and is funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement for all maternity providers to use.

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