Publication of Healthy Child, Healthy Future - Health Review Statistics for Northern Ireland 2020/21

Date published: 14 October 2021

The Department of Health has today published Healthy Child, Healthy Future - Health Review Statistics for Northern Ireland 2020/21.

This annual publication details the coverage and timeliness of preschool health contacts. It reports on the Healthy Child, Healthy Future framework which sets out a programme of child health contacts that every family in Northern Ireland can expect.

Key Facts and Figures:

  • Healthy Child, Healthy Future - Health Review Statistics for Northern Ireland 2020/21 is an annual publication that details the coverage and timeliness of pre-school health reviews. It reports on the Healthy Child, Healthy Future framework which sets out a programme of child health contacts that every family in Northern Ireland can expect.
  • This publication includes coverage and timing of six pre-school health reviews; from the New Baby Review (10-14 days after birth) to the 2 – 2 ½ Year Health Review.
  • During 2020/21, Health Visitors were expected to carry out 132,026 contacts to cover these six review types for children across Northern Ireland. Some 78% of the reviews were completed; 70% within the recommended timeframe and a further 9% were completed outside the recommended timeframe. Some 22% of the reviews did not take place.
  • The publication does not capture information on why reviews were completed outside of the recommended timeframe or had not taken place, however an audit carried out in 2017 indicated that workforce issues as well as parental wishes were among the main reasons.
  • The figures covered in this publication show the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as, upon advice provided by the Public Health Agency, the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland were required to pause some Healthy Child Healthy Future reviews. These measures were deemed necessary for staff to manage and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The figures presented in this bulletin are derived from Child Health System extractions provided by each of the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts.

Notes to editors: 

  1. This information was collated by Community Information Branch within the Department of Health.
  2. Healthy Child, Healthy Future (HCHF) is a framework for the universal Child Health Promotion Programme within Northern Ireland. It is recognised as being central to improving child health across a range of issues and giving every child and young person the best start in life.
  3. A health review will take place in the family home; however when appropriate, contacts can also take place in a health centre and/or in a group setting. Health Visitors are qualified nurses who have taken further training in Community & Child Health. Health Visitors work with individuals, families and groups whilst liaising closely with midwives, practice nurses and GPs.
  4. The statistics are collected quarterly from the Health and Social Care Trusts with a built in three month lag to ensure the administrative systems have been updated.
  5. This publication is available online
  6. Further information is available from:
    Community Information Branch
    Department of Health
    Room 11, Annexe 2,
    Castle Buildings,
    Stormont Belfast BT4 3SP
    E-mail: cib@health-ni.gov.uk
    Internet: Department of Health
  7. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk.
  8. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
  9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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