Child health inequalities and poverty

The influence of poverty on children’s health and wellbeing is undeniable. With insight from paediatricians, children and young people, we outline our position on health inequalities to Government, and provide paediatricians with tools to make a difference. We need to #ShiftTheDial
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Child health inequalities driven by child poverty in the UK - our position

Health inequalities are the systematic differences in health outcomes between different groups of babies, children and young people. They are driven by factors such as ethnicity, income, housing and being looked after by local authorities.

Our toolkit - watch the introduction, then click on the links below

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Understand how child poverty is defined in the UK context, including evidence of how it drives health inequalities and affects child health outcomes.
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Many paediatricians may find it difficult to raise questions about poverty with families. We give some tips to make this subject more approachable.
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Quality improvement (QI) can be used to improve NHS services that aim to reduce child health inequalities. Collaboration is key, and we outline factors to consider.
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Prevention is better than cure, and inequalities cannot improve without repairing the inherent problems in society. We offer key principles, plus the data to support your case.
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Almost 1,100 members signed our letters to political leaders across the UK last autumn, and over 100 of you wrote to MPs across the UK calling on them to intervene in Parliament.
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Reducing child health inequalities is a priority for health services in all four nations. We provide a template letter, to which you can add your unique perspective, to help shape better care and outcomes locally.
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Podcasts - talking with teams making a real difference

In our first episode, Dr Ian Sinha and Dr Alice Lee discuss why paediatricians have a role in addressing inequalities - and how to open up conversations with families.

Next, we hear from teams doing innovative work in quality improvement to better understand the impact of poverty and design NHS services with targeted support.

"Everyone deserves the world"

RCPCH &Us asked 500 children and young people across the UK what helps them to stay healthy, happy and well. And to think about why some might have things going on that stops this from happening...

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Case studies

Our case studies demonstrate how teams are addressing child health inequalities in their local areas. Get inspired by these best practice examples as you develop your own projects.  

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Child health inequalities and climate change

Climate change poses an existential threat, but it is not experienced equally. Our toolkit, published October 2023, supports paediatricians to take action locally, regionally and nationally on this issue.

News and blogs on health inequalities

Media response

RCPCH responds to NHS Dental Recovery Plan

NHS England and the Government have published their plan to combat high demand for NHS dentistry and focus on greater prevention and good oral health in young children.