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 2019/20.

Main points

  • Of children becoming eligible for the well-established reviews; Health Visitor first visit (offered at 10-14 days), the 6-8 week review, and the 27-30 month review; in 2019/20, 97%, 91% and 88%, respectively, were recorded as having their review.
Image caption Coverage of pre-school reviews, Scotland 2019/20.
Infographic showing the coverage of each preschool review for children eligible for review in 2019/20
  • Coverage of the 13-15 month and 4-5 year reviews has increased substantially over the last few years, as delivery of these reviews has become embedded in the vast majority of boards.
  • In 2019/20 all NHS boards were offering 13-15 month reviews, and 87% of children had a review. Twelve out of fourteen boards were offering 4-5 year reviews and 67% of children had a review.
  • Coverage of the well-established reviews (Health Visitor first visit, the 6-8 week review, and the 27-30 month review) is consistently high for children living in more and less deprived areas, and for boys and girls.
  • The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the delivery of reviews would only be expected to affect a small proportion of the data reported here. Children in older age groups who became eligible towards the end of the 2019/20 period are the most likely to have been affected by disruption as they would have been due for review in the months from March 2020. It is expected that the coverage figures for 2020/21 will provide a more complete picture of the impact of COVID-19.

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

Data from this publication are available from the data files section at the top of the page.

Public Health Scotland publishes a wide range of information on Child Health including infant feeding, immunisations, and early child development. Further information can be found in the Child Health section (external website) on the Public Health Scotland website.

The next release of this publication will be in February 2022.

General enquiries

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

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If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

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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: 28 June 2021
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