RCPCH responds to ‘Our plan for patients’ paper

Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced the government’s new Our Plan for Patients to improve care for patients this winter and next.
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In response to today’s statement from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Dr Camilla Kingdon, RCPCH President, said: 

Today’s announcement from the Secretary of State outlining plans to improve care for patients this winter is a strong step in the right direction for the NHS under pressure. We agree that patients must always be top priority and ask that the Minister ensures the needs of families, children and young people remain at the heart of all future planning and policy decisions.

As we approach this difficult winter, we need to be better equipped to focus on patients’ needs but to prioritise our patients effectively we must also prioritise and support the workforce. Measures announced today, such as extending the emergency registration scheme for retired staff to re-join the NHS and changes to pensions are welcome. However, tackling the staffing crisis will require a long-term, fully funded workforce strategy, which should be published without any further delay. 

We echo Dr Coffey’s view that most poor health is preventable. Prevention services and schemes are an extremely powerful tool in childhood and allow us to build healthy, strong, and resilient adults.  We welcome the plan to expand mental health support for children at school.  In keeping with her sentiments on prevention, we ask that current anti-obesity strategies are protected and that the long-awaited Health Disparities White Paper is published and outlines how child poverty and health inequalities will be reduced.