Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Improving baby and child health and reducing inequalities

Morning, Tuesday, 15th December 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss the priorities for improving the health outcomes in babies and young children.

It is taking place as Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom, Government's Early Years Health Adviser - who is a keynote speaker at this conference - leads a review into improving health outcomes in babies and young children as part of the Government’s levelling up policy agenda.

With the first phase of the review expected in early 2021, this conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the priorities and latest thinking on improving health outcomes.

Areas for discussion:

  • addressing inequalities - the overriding focus for the review, looking at birth to age 2½
  • the first 1,000 days - their importance in a child’s physical, emotional and social development, and opportunity throughout life, and priorities for tackling the barriers experienced in these areas
  • underlying factors - understanding the social determinants of health and their impact on child development
  • support  - what more can be done for children from disadvantaged families in the early years, and assessing the optimum time for intervention through maternity and parenting programmes
    • The Best beginnings in the early years report from the Children’s Commissioner making recommendations to give all children in England the best start in life, including the national family and children hubs and an extended childcare offer
  • service accessibility -  priorities for developing care pathways and enabling the ease of movement between services
  • collaboration - encouraging partnership working between pre- and postnatal services, the NHS, local authorities and the third sector - particularly to identify at risk groups earlier
  • commissioning - how it can be improved for health services for children in the early stages of life
  • policy coordination - how findings in the review can inform the focus and support progress in policy areas such as:
    • the NHS Long Term plan - and its ambitions and targets for improving children’s health, including around maternity, mental health, access to services and weight management
    • the Obesity Strategy - with plans for expansion of healthy weight management services and support, encouraging healthier food choices, and restriction of HFSS promotions and advertising
    • the Health and Wellbeing Fund - with aims to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in deprived areas or from BAME backgrounds
  • policy development - identifying priority measures that can support vulnerable young children and families
  • COVID-19 - what can learned from the experience of children and the services that support their wellbeing - in the face of increased chances of poverty, changes to accommodation and limitations to support networks - that can be carried forward to improve policy and provision

The agenda:

  • The priorities for improving health outcomes for babies and young children
  • Understanding the importance of the first 1,000 days in child development
  • Addressing the underlying health inequalities that impact child development, system-wide collaboration and opportunities for improving health outcomes
  • What more can be done to support children from disadvantaged families in the early years
  • Identifying policies that can support vulnerable young children and families and learn from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Improving the commissioning of health services for children in the early stages of life
  • Opportunities for improving the health outcomes for young children across health and care - integrating services, care pathways, training the workforce and partnership working

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from public health and health professionals, children’s centres, nursery staff, local authorities, nutrition specialists, nurses and general health practitioners, mental health practitioners, parent groups, third sector groups, representatives of citizen and interest groups, academics, and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom

Government's Early Years Health Adviser

Professor David Taylor-Robinson

Professor of Public Health and Policy, Institute of Population Health Sciences, University of Liverpool and Honorary Consultant in Child Public Health, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Alison Baum

Chief Executive Officer, Best Beginnings


Dr Nichola Stefanou

Director, Clinical Practice, Home Group

Rukshana Kapasi

Director of Health, Barnardo’s

Dr Nicola Jay

Consultant Paediatrician, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Officer for Workforce Planning and Health Services, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Dr Mando Watson

Consultant Paediatrician; Children & Young People’s Co-Chair, North West Integrated Care System; and CoFounder, Connecting Care for Children