About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides statistics on the coverage of child health reviews offered to preschool children as part of the nationally agreed child health programme. Information is shown by NHS Board and council area of residence, deprivation level and sex. Information is provided for children becoming eligible for each of the reviews in 2002/03 (or later if the review has been added to the schedule more recently) to 2020/21.

Main points

  • Of children becoming eligible for review in 2020/21, coverage levels were consistent with those in recent years for the Health Visitor first visit (offered at 10-14 days), the 6-8 week review, and the 27-30 month review, with 97%, 92%, and 91% of eligible children, respectively, recorded as having their review.
Image caption Coverage of pre-school reviews 2017/18 to 2020/21
  • Coverage of the 13-15 month and 4-5 year reviews has increased substantially over recent years, following their implementation, with all NHS boards now offering these reviews. In 2020/21, 79% of eligible children had a 4-5 year review, and 90% had a 13-15 month review, compared with 23% and 53%, respectively, in 2017/18.
  • Coverage of all reviews for children eligible in 2020/21 was very similar across levels of socio-economic deprivation, and for boys and girls.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic did have some effect on delivery of child health reviews; this mainly impacted on children eligible for review around the start of the pandemic. Monthly data reported on the wider impacts of covid dashboard has shown that subsequent to this early period, coverage has at least matched, and in some cases exceeded, pre-pandemic levels.

Background

All children in Scotland are offered a series of child health reviews between birth and starting school as part of the nationally agreed child health programme. Reviews are provided by Health Visitors. They include ongoing assessment of children’s growth, health, and development and wider family wellbeing. They offer an opportunity for provision of health promotion and parenting support, and also identify children and families who would benefit from additional ongoing services. It is important that all children receive the reviews that are offered. This helps to ensure that any problems are identified and support provided as quickly as possible, allowing children to thrive.

The 'coverage' achieved for a particular review in a year means the proportion of children becoming eligible for that review in the year (for example turning 6 weeks of age) that received their review, and had the result recorded in the national child health information system.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be in February 2023.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.childhealthstats@phs.scot.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 13 June 2022
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