MP Briefing: Healthy Start digital food scheme letting down low-income families
This briefing gives an overview of the issues reported by service users during the digitisation of the Healthy Start scheme and recommends solutions that Department for Health and Social Care and NHS Business Services Authority should act on urgently. The process to digitise Healthy Start began in October 2021. Families have been reporting multiple problems with applying for the cards, using them and trying to access the helpline. The last Healthy Start paper voucher is due to be issued at the end of March. The deadline for eligible families to re-register, apply for a new digital card and transfer with no loss of funds is 10 March. Frontline public health teams, food organisations and child health clinicians are concerned that many more families will lose out on a benefit they are entitled to.