Health care proposals for children

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The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum has published its proposals for improving health-related care for children and young people. The group, appointed in January by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, has identified a number of key areas in which improvements need to be made.

Early intervention and the effective integration of health, education and social care services lie at the heart of the Forum’s proposals, which also stress the importance of clear leadership and vision for service providers, and better education and training for the sector’s workforce.

The Report says that health providers should strengthen the patient experience and take more account of the views of children, young people and families.

The Forum, which includes representatives of a number of leading children’s charities, also recommends four new outcome indicators for inclusion in the NHS Outcomes Framework, which is used to hold NHS commissioning boards to account. These cover the time from first presentation to diagnosis or start of treatment, new measures for integrated care, effective transition from children’s to adult services, and the provision of age-appropriate services, especially for teenagers.

The Forum’s joint Chair, Christine Lenehan, Director at the Council for Disabled Children, said that implementation of the Report’s recommendations is crucial to improving health outcomes for young people. “This Report needs to form the basis of a wider children and young people’s health outcomes strategy, which needs to be owned by all organisations in the health system and beyond who have a responsibility for improving the health and wellbeing for this group”, she said.

To read the Report of the Children and Young people’s Health Outcomes Forum, go to:
www.dh.gov.uk/health/files/2012/07/CYP-report.pdf

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