Milton Keynes conference focuses on improvement to child health in the city


A conference to help improve health for vulnerable families across Milton Keynes was held to move the health agenda forward.

Following the transfer of public health to the Local Authority in April 2013, the conference, entitled ‘Localities: Early Help Health Matters’ was organised by Milton Keynes Council to “share good practice and build on existing relationships”.

The conference began with a presentation by keynote speaker, Muriel Scott - Director of Public Health at Milton Keynes Council, which provided attendees with an overview of child health in Milton Keynes; in what areas Milton Keynes excel, in what areas they need to improve and how to go about making these improvements and enacting positive change.

Muriel said: “It is vital to give children the best start in life; making sure they develop well and protecting their health as they grow into young adults.

“This conference will focus on what we are doing well and what we could be doing better, as there are always ways to improve.”

It focused on a number of areas in which Milton Keynes are focusing on improving and developing further. Muriel’s presentation was followed by a series of workshops which focused on the aspects of health Milton Keynes are keen to develop.

There were five workshops for participants to choose from at the conference; preventing and changing risky behaviours, why breastfeeding is important, the problem of the toxic trio in families (mental health, domestic abuse and substance/alcohol misuse), a review of the teenage pregnancy data and how to care for children closer to home.

Sal Thirlway, assistant director of Early Help said: “In Milton Keynes we want to give every child the best start in life. “A really effective way to ensure we do this is by sharing good practice and building on each other’s knowledge.

“This allows us to work together better across children’s and health services to identify issues and create long-lasting solutions in order to continue to improve child health across Milton Keynes.”

Muriel added: “It was great to see people who are not health professionals leave the conference excited by health.

“It has been a very useful morning and a great opportunity to share knowledge and good practice which will contribute to improving child health across Milton Keynes as a whole.”