The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) provides high-quality, reliable data on child overweight and obesity levels and trends. The programme is now recognised internationally as a world-class source of public health intelligence and holds UK National Statistics status. This data is key to improving understanding of overweight and obesity in children and is useful in forming national policy and planning and commissioning of services at local level.
With the transition of responsibility for public health to local authorities in the future the role of the NCMP in providing local data and intelligence on child obesity prevalence and trends will become even more essential. During the interim period responsibility for delivery of the NCMP will remain with PCTs.
The Department has published legal directions which will enable the NHS Information Centre and Primary Care Trusts to continue to process statistical data gathered for the NCMP. Guidance was issued in July 2011 for PCTs to making arrangements to measure all children in reception year (generally aged 4–5 years) and year 6 (generally aged 10–11 years) who attend schools within their designated areas. Further information on the directions and operating guidance is available here.