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 2021/22.

Main points

  • Of children becoming eligible for review in 2021/22, there were small reductions of 1-2% in coverage compared with the previous year across the Health Visitor first visit (offered at 10-14 days), the 6-8 week review, the 13-15 month review and the 27-30 month review, with 96%, 92%, 89%, and 89% of eligible children, respectively, recorded as having their review.

Coverage of pre-school reviews 2018/19 to 2021/22

  • Coverage of the 4-5 year review fell for the first time since implementation, from 84% in 2020/21 to 76% in 2021/22.
  • Coverage of all reviews for children eligible in 2021/22 was similar across levels of socio-economic deprivation, with coverage highest among those living in the most deprived areas for all reviews, but with only up to 2% difference between groups.
  • Coverage varies by Health Board, the range is smallest for the First visit (86% to 99%), and largest for the 4-5 year review (50% to 92%).


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 2024.

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: 21 March 2024
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