RCPCH responds to the Chancellor's summer statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a summer statement setting out the measures the Government will be taking to protect the economy in light of COVID-19. Professor Russell Viner, President of RCPCH, responds.

Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:

It's good to see the emphasis the Chancellor has put on helping young people in to work. We know that employment and training opportunities for young people are an upstream determinant of health, and those those not in education, employment or training for prolonged periods of time have poorer physical and mental health outcomes.

While the focus today has been on jobs, we urgently need funding settlements that put children at the heart of the country's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We acknowledge the funding the Government announced in the March Budget, allocated for the response to COVID-19. However, local authorities have been clear that they need further funding to manage the increased demand on children's services and the public health initiatives they deliver. In addition, our NHS needs funding to help them reset, restore and recover services, now we are past the first peak of the pandemic. 

Children and young people have and continue to be negatively impacted by the second-hand consequences of the pandemic. The Government must provide funding to ensure all children get the best start in life.