Government help for first-time parents

First-time parents are to get "NHS minders" to help them through the first two years under a new pilot scheme.

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The government has set aside £7.5million for midwives and health visitors to offer support in 10 of the poorest areas.

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It is based on a US system, which has been proved to help improve health and cut accidents and is being specifically aimed at single mothers.

The scheme is being jointly overseen by the Department for Education and Skills and Department of Health in some of the most deprived areas, including Southwark and Tower Hamlets in London, Manchester, Walsall and Derby.

It will see single mothers and other vulnerable first-time parents offered regular visits by an “NHS minder”.

They will be given tips on parenting and relationship skills as well as advice about exercise and diet.

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The visits could start as early as four months into pregnancy. If the scheme proves successful, it could be rolled out across England within two years.

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