RCPCH comments on Government's 'Living well for Longer' strategy

The President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health responds to today’s launch of Government’s ‘Living Well for Longer’ strategy.

President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Hilary Cass, said:

“It is disappointing that in light of the Government’s recent ‘pledge’ to reduce childhood mortality, little reference of its importance is made in the ‘Living Well for Longer’ strategy.

“At a time where each year, 1,600 children are dying unnecessarily in the UK, any call to action on reducing avoidable mortality must consider this more explicitly.

“While I commend the ambition of Government’s work on avoidable mortality as a whole and find it justifiable to focus on ‘big killers’ like stroke, liver disease and cancer, time still needs to be spent on the prevention of avoidable child mortality - after all, the death of a child is always a tragedy, and even a small number of avoidable child deaths is not acceptable.

“This strategy would have been better received if there was more detail on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, better integration between primary and secondary care and guidance for commissioners on service models to deliver a safer service – all of which will make a real difference in preventing childhood deaths.

“While improving care for older people is clearly important, we also must remember that we have 14 million children whom we have a duty to provide the best possible healthcare for.”