Ipswich: MP Dan Poulter announces plans to help give disadvantaged children ‘the best start in life’

Dr Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Dr Dan Poulter MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich MP has today vowed to work to give the most disadvantaged children in the town the “best start in life”.

Health minister and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter revealed that 16,000 of the country’s most disadvantaged mums and dads will receive more support under plans to roll out a successful government scheme.

The support will be given to parents by a specialist nurse as part of an extension of the Family Nurse Partnership programme, which already operates in Lowestoft, gives mums one-to-one support to bring up their tots.

Research has shown mums who receive support from family nurses stop smoking during pregnancy, have high levels of breastfeeding, improved self-esteem and are much more likely to return to education or employment when their children are old enough.

Dr Poulter told The Star: “It’s always pleasing to see work that I am doing as a government health minister benefit families and children in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk.

“The results of the family nurse programme speak for themselves – family nurses are good for mum, good for dad, and good for baby.

“They reduce post-natal depression, babies go on to do better at school as children, and mum and dad are far more likely to go back to work or into education and training. A win, win situation that is good for vulnerable families, gives babies the best start in life, and is good for the Suffolk economy too.”

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Dr Poulter added: “Every child should have the opportunity to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

“This programme plays a major role in supporting children in some of the most disadvantaged circumstances to have the very best start in life.

“Around 11,000 families are already benefiting from personalised support from family nurses, but I am determined that we should go further, and that is why we will expand the programme to support 16,000 families by 2015.”

The partnership is offered to first time mothers under the age of 20 from early pregnancy until the baby is two-years-old.

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