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allpay has confirmed a contract with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to facilitate payment card top-ups to the digitised Healthy Start Scheme which will be launched in 2021.
Healthy Start is a statutory scheme which will be administered by the NHSBSA on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) from 2021, to support better diets for lower-income pregnant women and families with children under four.
The NHSBSA is launching a digitised Healthy Start Scheme in 2021 that will offer an online application form and prepaid card to replace the current paper vouchers.
This will help disadvantaged families eat more healthily by providing support that is simpler to access and more flexible to use. allpay is to facilitate top-ups to the scheme’s new payment cards, which can be spent on fresh, tinned or frozen plain fruit and vegetables, pulses, milk and infant formula.
Digitisation of the scheme removes the requirement for retailers to register with the scheme, to accept paper vouchers in their stores. Unlike the paper voucher scheme, the new digital scheme will allow beneficiaries to purchase items in any retailer with a card payment system.
The Healthy Start Scheme currently supports some 300,000 beneficiaries a year, with digitisation expected to help support more families to apply for and use the scheme.
allpay has previously worked with the Scottish Government on the “Best Start Foods” scheme, the prepaid card programme assists families with children under three who are eligible for certain income benefits and encourages the purchase of “healthy” products from retailers.
Tony Killeen, Managing Director, allpay Limited said: “The digitisation of the Healthy Start Scheme is an exciting step and I am delighted that allpay has been able to utilise its prepaid solution to help the NHS Business Services Authority and other partners make this, what we hope, will be a very successful initiative.”
Chris Calise, Head of Service for Healthy Start, at NHSBSA said: “NHSBSA is looking forward to helping more families to eat healthily and making the scheme available to more families through the delivery of a digital scheme and the contract with allpay is a step in the right direction. We’re looking forward to working with them on this important initiative.”