Health for All Children 5 is launched at the RCPCH

Last night we welcomed civil servants, clinicians and colleagues from a variety of organisations to celebrate the launch of the latest edition in the Health for All Children series. Fully updated, it provides a review of the evidence supporting child health programmes in the UK.

RCPCH Vice President for Science and Research, Professor Nick Bishop, welcomed attendees and noted the great contribution that Health for All Children 5 makes to the field.

Health for All Children 5 Senior Editor Professor Alan Emond then took to the stage to describe the history of the Health for All Children series, with the fourth edition having been published in 2003. This edition had catalysed policy change across the UK, but had become dated in its evidence and perspective.

The fifth edition incorporates the latest evidence and reflects the changing healthcare landscape, taking global examples and applying these to policy and practice in different UK healthcare services. Furthermore, unlike previous editions, Health for All Children 5 begins in pregnancy and includes new topics such as perinatal parental mental health problems and school readiness.

The book makes recommendations for practitioners and commissioners, and has been used as the basis of briefings for public health bodies and Governments in the UK. Professor Emond concluded his talk by thanking the editors that have worked on Health for All Children 5, representing a range of disciplines and years of expertise.

It is great to see the 5th edition of Health for all Children launched. The book provides a review of the evidence supporting child health, from pregnancy until age 7, with recommendations for clinicians and commissioners. We hope it will be read by a wide range of child health professionals and students, and will improve evidence-based practice in child health.

Senior Editor, Professor Alan Emond

Dr Max Davie, RCPCH Officer for Health Promotion, then presented on the opportunities and challenges to the implementation of Health for All Children 5. In particular, Dr Davie emphasised the importance of indicators and data, using paediatric mental health services as an example of an area that is inadequately measured but vastly oversubscribed.

Dr Davie concluded that health promotion and policy professionals must work together to address the wider determinants of child health and barriers to improvement. In this way Health for All Children 5 can be a guide to commissioners, a source of instruction to clinicians and a catalyst for change in the field of child health.