For our response to the themes outlined by the Children, Young People and Education Committee (Senedd) we took insight from our State of Child Health report that captured information across a range of indicators and could be seen as a pre-pandemic benchmark of children’s health and wellbeing.
The key priorities that we highlighted to the Children, Young People and Education Committee to help inform their strategic planning and forward work programme were:
- COVID-19 recovery and child health services
- COVID-19 recovery and public health
- Chronic fatigue services for children and young people
- Mental health
- Allergy services
- Medication safety
- Paediatric research in Wales
We also highlighted that it was vital that the CYPE Committee continued to work closely with other Committees, particularly the Health and Social Care; Equality and Social Justice; and Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committees to enable a joined-up approach to scrutiny of issues that have a significant impact on children’s health and ensure that work was complementary but did not duplicate.
These included active travel, road and street safety (including implementation of the 20mph policy), recovery of children’s services, oral and dental health (including consideration of water fluoridation) and taking strategic action on unequal outcomes in children’s health caused by broader issues of poverty and inequality.
We welcomed the proposal from the Committee to undertake a programme of engagement directly with Children and Young People and encouraged them to engage with children and young people in, or with recent experience of, health settings including hospitals. We also asked the Committee to consider specific engagement with children and young people with long term health conditions to ensure that their wider concerns and aspirations were captured.
Considering feedback in engagement work through a number of our projects including State of Child Health, Paediatrics 2040 and Covid Bookclub, priorities consistently highlighted to us by young people in Wales included:
- Mental health
- Youth friendly services (including anywhere young people are accessing health information)
- Access to services
- Children’s rights (including issues around choice, consent and confidentiality)
Their priorities and the data sets published identified recommendations and wishes from children and young people that extend wider than individual health discussions and looked at the system as a whole. Children and young people have continuously asked that services are connected and place them at the centre as a person, for example with good information sharing between health and education linked to condition management.