Medacs Healthcare

MAY 01/2014

NHS staff 'need more support to further improve child health services'

NHS medical staff need to be provided with additional training and resources to make further improvements to the provision of paediatric care in the UK.

This is according to the first annual report by the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum, which suggested support for children's health is getting better at the moment, while also highlighting areas in which more work is needed.

A cross-system approach that involves the cooperation of the government, the whole health service, the social care sector and education professionals has been called for, with all parties urged to take children's comments on board to improve the services they use.

The report also suggested that all people who work with children and young people need appropriate training to provide them with the right skills, attitudes and behaviours, while increased use of data can help to ensure progress is properly measured and regional variation improved.

More integration between children's health and social care, a new strategy on children's mental health services and an update to the NHS Constitution were also recommended as key measures.

Maternity and child health minister Dr Dan Poulter noted that significant investment has been made in paediatric services in the last few months, which is starting to bear fruit.

He said: "We have seen a 23 per cent rise in the number of health visitors and we have also invested £54 million in mental health support for young people.

"We are also investing in training so that NHS staff have even stronger paediatric skills. There is much more to do and we want the NHS to go even faster to improve care for children and young people."

As part of these efforts, Health Education England is to introduce a new training course aimed at GPs to help them develop additional specialist skills to care for young people with long-term conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

This comes at a time when GPs are expected to provide coordination of care for the increasing number of patients with chronic conditions, whether they are young or old.

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