Government finally cave on my request for better Healthy Start Scheme communication

April 18, 2024

Last year, I coordinated a letter calling for all eligible families not receiving Healthy Start payments to be informed of the scheme.

This came alongside my Private Members Bill calling for auto-enrolment of families on the scheme in order to enable it to reach the 190,000 low-income pregnant women, babies and children who were missing out to access a card that can be used to purchase milk, baby formula, fruits and vegetables.

Although my Bill was allowed to expire by the Government, I believed that simply communicating their eligibility to families would make a difference.

Nearly a third of eligible parents and children were missing out either through difficulty accessing the website, confusing applications processes or simply not being aware of the scheme’s existence.

Finally, after a year of campaigning, the Government has finally agreed to contact families using NHS data to let them know they are eligible but missing out – and so we have taken a step forward in getting this crucial help to those who need it.

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