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The 1001 Critical Days: Conception to Age 2 All Party Parliamentary Group Manifesto

The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation welcomes the cross-party manifesto that highlights the importance of acting early to enhance the outcomes for children.

Members of Parliament from across eight different parties have thrown their weight behind the re-launch of a key policy commitment to achieving better perinatal mental health and stronger attachment between babies and their parents right from the start

The 1001 Critical Days Manifesto takes its title from the period from conception to age 2 when a baby’s brain is developing fastest and he or she is most susceptible to forming strong bonds of attachment with a primary carer, which will have a lasting impact and certainly set a child up for the best start in life, in school and into adulthood if we get it right.

A record number of MPs from all sides of the House have put their names in support and are pressing ministers to adopt it as Government policy across a number of departments led by Health.

The main sponsors include former Children’s Minister and Conservative MP Tim Loughton, Shadow Children’s Minister and Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, former Minister for Mental Health Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb and representatives from the SNP, Plaid, SDLP, DUP and Green MP Caroline Lucas.

Established in 2013, The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Conception to Age 2 (1001 Critical Days), is one of the largest and most active APPG’s with substantial membership and buy-in from MPs and Lords of all parties.

“Our objective is to ensure that the interests and needs of families during the conception to age 2 period are represented to as many people inside Parliament and Government as possible.”

A report published by the APPG earlier in the year, entitled ‘Building Great Britons’ identified the cost of poor perinatal mental health and child neglect as more than £23bn a year let alone the social cost that ensues.

As our report shows [Building Great Britons Conception to Age 2:1001 Critical Days] the two are closely linked and more importantly largely avoidable.

That is the equivalent of more than two thirds of the annual Defence Budget going on a problem that is widespread and when unchecked passes from one poorly parented generation to the next.

Tackling it should be no less a priority for our politicians and our health and social care professionals than defence of the realm.

It really is false economy not to be dealing with this earlier and I am glad that ministers are at last waking up to the fact that this is a problem which can be dealt with at relatively modest cost if we have a coherent programme that can get stuck in early.

This is not ‘rocket science.’ Technically it is ‘neuro-science.’

Tim Loughton MP,

Chair All Party Parliamentary Group for Conception to Age 2

The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation

We have supported and continue to support the 1001 Critical Days All Party Parliamentary Group because of the importance of acting to enhance the outcomes for mums and dads suffering for mental illness and the impact this has on their children.

Less than 3% of mums receive the treatment necessary to make a full recovery from postnatal depression which condemns them, their children, partners and families to a future of anxiety and fear.

Whilst GP’s are supposed to use “talking therapies” as the first line of response there is little or no access to Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) Services who have the capacity to treat less than 15% of those referred.

London School of Economics report (2014), into The Costs Of Perinatal Mental Health: “The Scale of the Problem”

Mental Health Problems are The Biggest Killer of New Mums

The latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death has found that the biggest cause of death for new mums is mental health problems. Whilst the deaths caused by pregnancy complications has dropped dramatically deaths caused by mental health problems have remained the same.

The latest enquiry covering the 3 year period from 2011 to 2013 found that at least 50% of the recorded 77 were avoidable had the mums been identified as suffering from mental illness and as reported in earlier and if mums had received the correct treatment  at least 86% were “avoidable deaths”.

And at least 1 in 2 mums suffer from anxiety and 1 in 4 mums suffer from postnatal depression, with nearly 1 million births each year this equates to approx. 750,000 mums annually.


Having launched Dads Matter UK on Father’s Day 2015, we are NOW happy to launch the new Dads Matter UK website. The site is an “Online Gateway” to resources aimed at giving access to tools and information for Dads, Mums, carers the general public, corporate enterprise and Perinatal Mental Health Champions.

Our aim is to raise awareness amongst dads and to encourage open discussion and disclosure of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

We want to highlight that for every mum going through postnatal depression there is a dad going through the same traumas. Health professionals need to support families as a whole, dads included.

We aim to educate everyone on the impact of perinatal mental health and make sure everyone remembers “Dads Matter”.

Parental behaviours and attitudes impact upon the development of the child yet so little information and support is provided to Mums and Dads on Mental Health issues and the risks that should be of concern to them.

A study by the National Child Birth Trust (NCT) found many dads are worried:

  • 3 in 4 dads (73%) are worried or concerned about their partner’s mental health.

  • 1 in 3 new dads (38%) are worried or concerned about their own mental health

Mums are more likely to first turn to their partner (i.e. Dads) to talk about mental health problems that a health care professional or another family member, according to research by RCN and Netmums.