State of Child Health: England – two years on

Our 2017 State of Child Health report revealed alarming health inequalities between the UK’s most disadvantaged children and young people and their more affluent peers. Two years on, our scorecard for England assesses progress made against our State of Child Health policy recommendations. It reveals achievements in key areas and a more positive picture for infants, children and young people.

We are delighted to see children and young people at the heart of the recently published Long Term Plan for the NHS. In particular, the establishment of a Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme is hugely welcome, and we hope to see it deliver a distinct and robust child health strategy. 

Elsewhere, 2018 saw a number of other major steps in the right direction, with mental health and obesity high on Government’s agenda. The establishment of a mental health prevalence study for young people, the roll out of mental health education in schools and proposals to tackle irresponsible advertising and promotions of unhealthy food and drink are very positive measures that the College has long been calling for. 

But it is not all good news. Child poverty, cuts to public health services and political uncertainty pose substantial threats to progress.