From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Evaluation of the Health in Pregnancy Grant in Scotland

We are carrying out an 18 month project, funded by NIHR Public Health Research Board (project number 12/3070/02), to evaluate the Health in Pregnancy Grant in Scotland. All pregnant women were eligible for the Health in Pregnancy Grant (HiP) if they had sought health advice from a midwife or doctor. HiP was a payment of £190 made to pregnant women. It was designed to provide additional financial support, in the last months of pregnancy, towards a healthy lifestyle including diet. This may have benefited the health of the child in terms of improving the birthweight. Birthweight is an important outcome that affects health not just in the immediate period following birth but also into childhood and beyond. The effects of birthweight continue into adult health; those born with a lower birthweight are at higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in adult life.

The HiP was in place in the UK from April 2009 to April 2011. Routinely collected birth data for the whole of Scotland will be used to compare birthweights of 280,000 babies who were born before the HiP to 112,000 babies born during HiP and 135,000 babies born after HiP.

We will evaluate whether HiP was cost effective and will therefore be in a position to make a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of re-introducing HiP. The intention of re-introducing the HiP would be to reduce inequalities in birthweight and other outcomes.