Responding to the Institute for Public Policy Research’s (IPPR) report ‘Better Health and Care for All,’ which was led by Lord Darzi and Lord Prior following a six-month review, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), Professor Russell Viner, said:
“The healthcare service is fantastic. It provides free healthcare at the point of access for all and thanks to advancements in science and research, is capable of creating and prolonging life and managing a range of complex conditions to enhance quality of life. However, keeping up with 21st century demand has meant the health service faces a challenging time. Investment is needed but at a time when funding is scarce, any investment must be made wisely.
"The authors are right: a health in all policies approach is very much needed and a particular focus on tackling obesity, smoking and improving mental health care is warmly welcomed. So too is the call for a reduction in health inequalities as we know this is often at the root of these problem – that’s why it was so encouraging to hear this call trailed by Simon Stevens at this week’s NHS Confederation conference, noting that inequalities, cancer outcomes and mental health, particularly for children and young people were identified as likely priority areas for NHS England. However, we know that healthy children are much more likely to become healthy adults so it’s crucial that any new policy, or investment in the health service has a focus on children and young people.
"In a recent report, we warned of the real threat of burnout unless more resource was injected into child health services. Units were shown to be struggling to meet the standards to safely deliver care as they faced daily battles to staff rotas, provide 24/7 specialist advice and timely consultant assessment. These important standards will only be met if we have the resources required to deliver them. We call on Government to take note and act on the points raised in this report but most importantly, invest in the paediatric workforce and child health as a whole to safeguard the future of the health service.”