26 July 2012

The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum has today published its proposals on how health-related care for children and young people can be improved.

The report, commissioned by Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, argues for the need to view healthcare provision for children and young people through a “child friendly lens” and includes calls for a number of additional breastfeeding outcome measures. It also recommends that the Department of Health “should bring together all relevant partners to co-produce a children’s health charter based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and aligned with the NHS Constitution.”

The Forum was responding to the challenges issues in Sir Ian Kennedy’s 2010 report Getting it right for children and young people, which concluded that the health system “has a poor track record in relation to children”. The Forum recommends a number of new outcomes measures and the strengthening of existing indicators and makes specific recommendations for different organisations within the health and care system to ensure the improvements are achieved.

The report recommendations for Public Health outcome measures for children include prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at four months and proportion of parents where parent-child interaction promotes secure attachment in children age 0–2.

A number of breastfeeding indicators are also recommended for inclusion in the Commissioning Outcomes Framework:

  • Breastfeeding initiation
  • Breastfeeding prevalence at 6–8 weeks
  • Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 4 months
  • Percentage of babies on exclusive breastmilk at discharge from neonatal units

The report makes specific reference to Articles 12 (the right to a voice) and 24 (the right to good quality health care) of the UNCRC and says that “adoption and implementation of these principles would be a significant driver to improving health outcomes for children and young people.”

Joint chair Christine Lenehan, Director at the Council for Disabled Children, saidThis 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.

Click here to download the report.


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