Together for Short Lives has welcomed the positive progress being made by the government, NHS England and others to improve child health in England. However, we join the call for more action to address the shortage in the number of healthcare professionals able to care for children and young people.
In ‘The State of Child Health England – Two Years On’ report, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) highlights a series of important new policy changes. These include NHS England’s decision to develop service models for children and young people aged 0-25 that offer person-centred and age appropriate care for both mental and physical health needs. This could bring about smoother transitions to adult services which are based on age rather than need. The new Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme, included in the NHS Long Term Plan, could also provide a new strategic focus for child health in England.
The RCPCH has rightly identified some good work done by ministers and officials to act upon the serious challenges affecting the health of our children.Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives
“The challenge now is to make sure that the positive intentions set out in the NHS Long Term plan – and elsewhere – are realised. To do this, the government needs to make sure that we have a healthcare workforce that can meet the needs of children, including the growing number of those with serious, complex illnesses.
I join RCPCH in calling on ministers to act now by investing in the children’s healthcare workforce – and to include child health services in the workforce implementation plan later in 2019.”