Child health high on the agenda, but political uncertainty and public health cuts pose risk to progress, warns UK’s top paediatrician

Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health | January 2019 | State of Child health: Two years on scorecard

The scorecard, which describes progress against a series of recommendations made in the RCPCH’s landmark ‘State of Child Health report’ (2017), have been produced for each of the four UK nations and reveal a varied picture. While the scorecard reveals great progress in areas such as child and adolescent mental health; tackling child obesity; reducing child deaths.

The scorecard also reveals that England lags behind its European counterparts on a number of outcomes including  reducing child poverty and inequality, child deaths and breastfeeding (Source: RCPCH).


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See also:

Nuffield Health Child poverty and Brexit threaten improvements to children’s health outcomes, says Nuffield Trust

In the news:

The Independent Brexit threatens children’s health with concerns over recruiting specialist doctors, report warns


Child health in England in 2030

Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health | October 2018 | Child health in England in 2030: comparisons with other wealthy countries

The Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health have published Child health in England in 2030: comparisons with other wealthy countries, the RCPCH used long term historical data on key CYP health outcomes and various projection modelling methods to estimate CYP outcomes in 2030 in England compared with other wealthy European and western countries.


Key findings

England has poorer health outcomes than the average across the EU15+ (the 15 EU countries in 2004 plus Canada, Australia and Norway) in most areas studied. This means that unless current trends improve, England is likely to fall further behind other wealthy countries over the next decade (Source: RCPCH).

Other findings focus on: 


Mental health


Accident & Emergency attendances

Outpatient attendance

The RCPCH makes a number of recommendations relating to:

  • the NHS system
  • Funding
  • Obesity
  • Mental Health
  • Healthy start

Child health in 2030 in England: comparisons with other wealthy countries

Child health in 2030 in England: comparisons with other wealthy countries


Nuffield Trust Child health report should set alarm bells ringing, says Nuffield Trust 

Independent Infant mortality in England will be 140% higher than EU states by 2030 without radical action, report warns  

Of interest:

BBC News Children ‘should be weighed up to age 18’, report says

Access to children and young people’s mental health services- 2018 

Education Policy Institute |October 2018 |Access to children and young people’s mental health services- 2018 

Access to children and young people’s mental health services- 2018  is the third report in a series from the Education Policy Institute to  look at the increased demand for children’s mental health services; what proportion of those referred for support are not accepted and how they are then treated; and what changes to service availability are emerging.

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The report is based on freedom of information (FOI) requests to providers of specialist child and mental health services (CAMHS) in England. The report finds that the number of referrals made to CAMHS has increased by a quarter (26 %) in the last five years (Source: Education Policy Institute).

The key findings focus on:

  • Referrals to children’s mental health services
  • Waiting times for children’s mental health services
  • CAMHS data deficiencies hinder progress

Education Policy Institute Access to children and young people’s mental health services- 2018 

One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm, reports Children’s Society

The Children’s Society | August 2018 | The Good Childhood Report 2018

Every year The Children’s Society produces a wellbeing report, a comprehensive report into children’s wellbeing to hear what children have to say about their lives, what makes them happy and what needs to be improved for this generation. 

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Key findings from the report:

  • Pressure to fit in with society’s expectations is making children unhappy
  • Alarming numbers of children are self-harming
  • Non-stop comments about appearance are harmful to girls’ well-being
  • Outdated gender stereotypes are damaging to boys’ and girls’ happiness
  • Family relationships are particularly important for girls

Children’s Society press release One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm

Read the full report at The Children’s Society

The Good Child Summary report  available here 


In the media:

BBC News Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm 

The Telegraph Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm, study finds, amid warning of ‘crisis in children’s mental health’ 

The Guardian Quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK have self-harmed, report finds

Review Of Children And Young People’s Mental Health Services: Phase One Report

This report confirms many of the issues raised in the Five year forward view for mental health and comments on the difficulties children and young people face in accessing appropriate support for their mental health concerns from a system that is fragmented and where services vary in quality | Care Quality Commission 


This report is the first phase of a major thematic review requested by the Prime Minister in January 2017. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has drawn on existing reports, research and other evidence and its inspections of children and young people’s mental health services, as well as conversations with young people to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system.

CQC has found that, whilst most specialist services provide good quality care, too many young people find it difficult to access services and so, do not receive the care that they need when they need it. One young person told CQC that they waited 18 months to receive help.

This report also lays the foundations for the next phase of CQC’s review. Phase two will seek to identify where has there been real change in the system, where change has been slower and what was needed to drive better care.

Calls for new Prime Minister’s Challenge on children’s mental health

Education Policy Institute | Published online: November 2016

Image source: EPI

The Education Policy Institute has identified that specialist mental health services are, on average, turning away 23 per cent, or almost one in four, children and young people referred to them for treatment by their teachers or GPs. We also identified a postcode lottery of waiting times for those whose referrals were accepted.

The Institute’s investigation into progress and challenges in the transformation of children and young people’s mental health care has found wide variation in the quality of local strategies. Under our scoring system, only 15 per cent of local areas were found to have ‘good’ plans. We also identified significant barriers to progress. For example, 8 out of 10 providers face recruitment difficulties, and there has been an 80 per cent increase in expenditure on temporary staffing in the last two years.

Read an overview here

Read the full report here

Gender and children and young people’s emotional and mental health: manifestations and responses

Hamblin, E. Gender and children and young people’s emotional and mental health: manifestations and responses. A rapid review of the evidence. | National Childrens Bureau


This document aims to provide a snapshot of the most recent and salient evidence from published research and grey literature, as relevant to children and young people living in England in 2016. It addresses children and young people’s emotional and mental health difficulties as they manifest and are responded to, highlighting and exploring gender-related issues behind observed patterns across areas of mental health.

This rapid review presents evidence of clear gender differences in children and young people’s emotional and mental health, in terms of:

1. the general picture of children and young people’s emotional and mental health

2. the prevalence of specific difficulties and issues among children and young people

3. children and young people’s coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours

4. responses to children and young people’s emotional and mental health needs from parents and carers, schools, and public services

5. service responses to the needs of some particular groups of children and young people.