RCPCH welcomes Northern Ireland Deal

Dr Raymond Nethercott, Officer for Ireland at RCPCH welcomes the New Decade, New Approach deal and the political parties’ commitment to prioritising health.

Dr Nethercott continues:

"The pledge to deliver a Programme for Government which is firmly focused on improving prosperity and wellbeing for all and underpinned by a multi-year budget is urgently needed to mitigate the effects of three years of stagnation.

"At first analysis, we are concerned that child health and wellbeing is not specifically detailed as part of health transformation and will monitor this as the Programme for Government is developed. We welcome the fact that the document sets out that there will be an opportunity to shape the future Programme for Government and the budget, through engagement and co-design. This must include the views children and young people and families.

"We are glad to see that the Programme for Government will be underpinned by key supporting strategies, including the newly published Children and Young People’s Strategy 2019-29. Within this strategy is the top-line Outcome; children and young people are physically and mentally healthy. We note that late pregnancy to two years of age is acknowledged to be a critical period. It is imperative that there are clear lines of accountability within any newly convened NI Executive and clarity on delivery of the interlinked strategies which aim to improve outcomes for children and young people including Children and Young People’s Strategy, Healthy Child Health Future Strategy and A Strategy for Paediatric Healthcare Services Provided in Hospitals and in the Community (2016-2026).

"RCPCH will soon publish State of Child Health 2020 which will use comparative data to illustrate current child health outcomes across 27 indicators and will make recommendations to the Executive to maximise the health and wellbeing of our young people in Northern Ireland.  The RCPCH look forward to working with the relevant Executive Departments in the years ahead."