Improving disability assistance in Scotland - consultation response

In May 2019 we responded to the Scottish Government consultation, Improving Disability Assistance in Scotland. RCPCH is generally supportive of the proposal and recommends that application for Disability Assistance should be a straightforward process for parents/carers/paediatricians with rigorous and timely claims process and review.

As the safe and secure delivery of disability benefits are transferred to Scottish Government, this consultation sought views on whether the approach to Disability Assistance will meet the needs of the children and adults it is intended to help.

Our response

  • Parents need the evidence included in community paediatrician reports. RCPCH is concerned that there are insufficient numbers of paediatricians working in the field of disability available to meet the needs of the children who would be entitled to these benefits.
  • Childhood disability is more common the more deprived a population. Where some of most deprived populations in Scotland are found, there are fewer community paediatricians per head of population.
  • Poverty and low income contribute greatly to the ill health of children our paediatricians work with

Our recommendations

  • Children aged 16 to 18 years should have the same process as other children, as community child health paediatricians see children up to the age of 18.
  • Paediatric workforce issues need to be addressed to ensure timely reports for eligibility.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Scotland Team: