The time is now for child health

Children and young people in the UK face some of the greatest health challenges and widest inequalities in the world. It is vital that 2019 is the year that child health is made a political priority.

From mental health issues, to childhood obesity, to child poverty, the challenges that children face are profound. And we recently found that, without swift action, the UK is likely to fall even further behind comparable countries on key child health measures by 2030.

We need you to ask your MP to act now.

The State of Child Health

In January 2019 the RCPCH published State of Child Health: Two years on – an evaluation of the progress being made on the recommendations from our ground-breaking report in 2017.
 
We found some very welcome steps towards improving child health across government and across the NHS. A Childhood Obesity Plan is consulting on ambitious proposals. There is a promise of investment for community mental health services. And a new Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme is being created to move the NHS to a 0-25 years model by 2028.

But we have seen no progress on fundamental issues that jeopardise children’s health. Child poverty continues to rise. Public health funding continues to face cuts. And child mortality has now risen for two years in a row, after a century of decline.

Now is the time for the government to deliver on its promises for children and young people’s health.

What must be done?

The Government has published a Long Term Plan for NHS England. This covers many aspects of child health – from mental health, to child deaths, to integrated children’s health services.

However, child health is complex and diverse. The challenges facing children should not be treated in isolation. This is why we are calling for a full cross-government Child Health and Wellbeing Strategy to support the NHS in delivering the Long Term Plan.

Only a Strategy – that tackles the diverse elements of child health as a whole – can deliver the joined-up, ambitious cross-sector action needed to properly improve child health and tackle health inequalities.

Write to your MP now

We need your help to make the Government commit to a Children and Young People’s Health Strategy.

Write to your MP to get them to support child health. We want you to ask them to call on the Prime Minister to deliver a cross-government Child Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Enter your postcode below and use our template letter to get your voice heard.