Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ministers pledge to reduce child mortality

Ministers pledge to reduce child mortality: UK figures now among the worst in Europe as regional variations in quality of care for young people are branded 'unacceptable'
A new national pledge to reduce child deaths is to be announced by the government.

The all-cause mortality rate for children aged between 0 and 14 years has moved from the average to among the worst in Europe, figures show, while more than a quarter (26%) of children's deaths showed "identifiable failure in the child's direct care".
The pledge is part of the government's response to the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum, which was set up in January 2012.
New measures include increasing data so the NHS and local authorities can obtain better information to improve the health of young people; piloting a survey to generate details of local health problems such as drug and alcohol use; and launching colour coded health maps to highlight trends for conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
The health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, said: "For too long, Britain's childhood mortality rates have been amongst the worst in Europe when compared to similar countries.
"In particular, there is unacceptable variation across the country in the quality of care for children – for example in the treatment of long-term conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
"I am determined that children and young people should be put at the heart of the new health and social care system. Too often in the past, children's health has been an afterthought.
"The pledge that we are making demonstrates how all parts of the system will play their part and work together to improve children's health. There is already a lot of good work going on but we want the NHS to do even more to improve care for children and young people and reduce the mortality rate."
The pledge commits signatories to put children, young people and families at the heart of decision-making and could include asking them to carry out actions such as investigating why there are lower survival rates for children with certain conditions in different areas and taking action to make improvements.
Dr Hilary Emery, chief executive of the National Children's Bureau charity, said it welcomed the pledge. "As these plans are implemented, it is vital that children and young people are listened to within all aspects of the health system, as patients fully involved in decisions about their care, but also as valued participants.
"As a starting point, the NHS constitution should be produced in a form accessible to children and young people, so they can exercise their right to high quality healthcare in the same way as adults.
"It is particularly important that health provision is improved for the vulnerable children most at risk of suffering poor health outcomes, such as looked after children, those in custody, or those with disabilities and complex health needs." The Guardian

No comments:

Post a comment