Concern about children and young people’s health outcomes

The dangers of a fragmented approach to the commissioning of health and public health services for children and young people are highlighted in two new reports which reflect the concerns of many children’s professionals regarding the implementation of current health reforms.

Review of health and well being boards

As part of a review of progress of health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) in relation to children’s services, Debbie Jones, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, writes that: “Broadly speaking…children’s health and well-being issues are not yet getting much traction in HWBs, and HWBs are not yet effective drivers of change around preventative and early help agendas…it is imperative that sufficient focus is placed on outcomes for children to demonstrate HWB commitment to the children’s agenda”.

She argues in the report 'Getting started: prospects for health and wellbeing boards' that tangible actions and benefits for children, young people and families will depend on Determining and implementing joint commissioning priorities.

Download the report

NHS Confederation report on child health outcomes

Following a series of consultation events in the summer of 2012, the NHS Confederation, in conjunction with Royal Colleges and other leading child health organisations, has reported on action which needs to be taken at national and local level to improve health outcomes for children and young people.

The report  'Children and young people’s health and wellbeing in changing times' calls for ministers to bring together decision-makers and leaders from children’s health and other services to agree a plan for joining up services in practice. “It was clear from these discussions that this is not just about the implementation of the NHS reforms but also needs to be seen as a cross-government issue”.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • joined-up working at a national level and improved connections between services.
  • National and local bodies should be responsible for shared outcomes.

As part of improved primary care for children and young people, the report supports: “the plans for extra training for GPs on child health and recommend it should include all key elements of the Healthy Child Programme and improve awareness of public health and its impact at a population level.”

Other recommendations focus on the need to enable schools to improve child health and wellbeing, and to ensure that public health departments within local authorities work across services to make data and information available and accessible.

Download the report

Updated January 2013