The Government has no plans to designate a group of healthcare professionals focused on the prevention of rickets.
Rickets can generally be prevented by ensuring that children have a healthy, balanced diet, spend some time outside in the sun and take appropriate supplements containing ten micrograms of vitamin D. There is already a range of resources available to increase awareness of the need for vitamin D supplements, including advice on the NHS Choices website on the importance of vitamin D for bone health, and supplements are readily available over the counter and through the Healthy Start vitamins scheme.
In August the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) updated its public health guidance on increasing vitamin D supplement use among population groups at risk of vitamin D deficiency, in the light of the 2016 Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report on Vitamin D and health. A copy of Vitamin D: supplement use in specific population groups is attached. This guideline includes recommendations on how to: increase access to and availability of vitamin D supplements, including for at-risk groups such as the BAME community, ensure health professionals recommend vitamin D supplements, raise awareness of the importance of these supplements amongst the population, and monitor provision and uptake of vitamin D supplements. Local commissioners will wish to consider how best to take forward these recommendations in respect of local BAME populations.
The Government has made no formal assessment of the research referred to. Given the widespread availability of vitamin D supplements and clear guidance to health professionals and the public the Government does not believe there is a need for further strategies to prevent rickets.