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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Ashworth calls for childhood trauma to be national public health priority

Written by Shaun Connolly

Addressing childhood adversity and trauma should be a national public health priority, Labour has said.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said action was needed because around half of adults in England had endured Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

He said ACEs include verbal and physical abuse, emotional neglect, household domestic violence and substance misuse.

Mr Ashworth has previously discussed his own experiences growing up with an alcoholic father.

The shadow health secretary will say on Thursday: "Too often children and their health and well being outcomes receive scant attention by policy makers and the wider system. I'm determined to change that.

"Failing to invest in children and prioritise their specific needs not only represents a betrayal of Britain's children but it's completely misguided too.

"Increasing academic evidence shows that failing to tackle adverse childhood experiences stores up problems for the future - both for the health outcomes of individuals and society as a whole."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire.