Department of Health and Social Care
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Am I doing it right?

Am I doing it right?

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 07 August 2009

FREE ONLINE SERVICE HELPS FIRST-TIME PARENTS www.babylifecheck.co.uk

A new interactive website to help parents and carers keep their babies healthy, happy and safe is being rolled out nationally today by the Department of Health. NHS Baby LifeCheck is designed to provide information and advice to mums, dads and carers of babies aged five to eight months.

www.babylifecheck.co.uk guides parents and carers through a set of simple multiple choice questions, then offers advice and reassurance on making the best decisions for their child. It covers topics including: development, talking and playing, feeding, healthy teeth, safety, sleep routine, immunisations and being a parent.

Created in consultation with parents, NHS Baby LifeCheckrecognises that being the mum or dad of a young baby can sometimes be a challenge. It offers top tips, helpful videos and details of organisations which can support people across a range of issues – from weaning worries to feeling down or lonely.

Health Minister Ann Keen said:

“NHS Baby LifeCheck is a reliable source of non-judgemental, online information for parents and carers. It provides reassurance and advice about their baby’s health development, happiness and safety. It’s an easy way for parents to find out if they are doing the best thing for their child, whilst also supporting them to set goals or find further help to make improvements for themselves and their baby.”

Being hosted entirely online means www.babylifecheck.co.uk is available to parents at a time to suit them, to offer non-judgmental and totally confidential advice. No identifying information is kept.

First-time mum, Dina Yacob, who has used NHS Baby LifeCheck said:

“I completed the NHS Baby LifeCheck for my seven month old son. It really reassured me that I am doing the right things for my baby. It also reminds you to get on with some things - for example introducing a cup instead of a bottle for drinks - which I knew I would have to do, but had forgotten in the rush of everything else.”

Nicola Stenning, a health visitor in Hammersmith and Fulham, said:

“NHS Baby LifeCheck has been tested with parents to ensure it provides them with tailored information while giving reassurance. Becoming a parent for the first time can come with the worry of whether you are doing it right; this free service will help parents to find out. NHS Baby LifeCheck will be a useful source of information and guidance for parents of babies between five to eight months, at a time when they receive less frequent visits from health professionals.”

www.babylifecheck.co.uk is freely available to parents and carers from any computer with internet access.

www.babylifecheck.co.uk is one of three NHS LifeCheck services. NHS Teen LifeCheck, aimed at 12-15 year olds was launched nationally in June 2009 and NHS Mid-life LifeCheck, aimed at 45-60 year olds, which should go live at the end of the year.

Notes to Editors

For more information about NHS Baby LifeCheck please contact: the Department of Health Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.

About NHS LifeCheck

A former version of NHS Baby LifeCheck, called NHS Early Years LifeCheck, was launched in 83 Communities for Health areas in October 2008.

· NHS Baby LifeCheck is not a medical assessment and has no symptom checker. It does not provide help for parents who are worried their baby is ill. Parents with medical concerns should call NHS Direct.

· NHS LifeCheck informs, empowers and supports people in leading healthier lives. It helps them to understand how their current lifestyle choices may affect their long-term well-being and offers guidance in making small but effective changes

· In the public consultation “Your Health, Your Care, Your Say” people clearly expressed an interest in taking more responsibility for their health and wellbeing. Three quarters of participants identified regular health checks as a top priority to help them do this.

· In response, the 2006 Government White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ announced the development of three initial NHS LifeChecks:

o one for young people aged 12 - 15

o one for parents and carers with babies five - eight months old and

o one for the 45 - 60 years age group

· The launch of NHS Teen LifeCheck has been extremely successful with approximately 80,000 hits to the website since the launch on June 10th. In the first month following launch we achieved 50,000 hits to the site which is five times the monthly target of 10,000. Questionnaire completions are currently running at 54% - again surpassing our target completion level of 35%.

Contacts:

Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221
NDS.DH@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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