5. Uptake of Healthy Start vitamin tablets and drops in Scotland
At present the overall uptake by beneficiaries of the Healthy Start scheme as a whole (receiving vouchers for food and milk and coupons for vitamin tablets and drops) is 74% in Scotland. Uptake of the scheme is measured by the number of families who have successfully applied for the scheme by those who are eligible to apply (based on those families who are already in receipt of the relevant benefits or tax credits).
Uptake of Healthy Start vitamin tablets and drops was measured by the number of vitamins claimed (by NHS and community pharmacists) for reimbursements that would have been supplied to those families who receive healthy start coupons for vitamins. Data provided on uptake is problematic as this is only recorded when NHS and community pharmacies claim back the cost of the vitamin tablets and drops.
Figure 1 below shows the uptake of Healthy Start vitamin tablets for women and drops for children. The number of vitamins distributed includes distribution through both the NHS and community pharmacies. The Figure shows the % uptake of women's vitamin tablets in Scotland is very low both prior to the start of the pilot and since the pilot began, in particular the uptake of women's vitamins has been in decline.
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