Childhood vulnerability

Over two million children in England are growing up in families where there are serious risks, major study from Children’s Commissioner reveals

childrens commissioner
Image source: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/

The Children’s Commissioner has published Vulnerability report 2018 which brings together a range of information held by various government departments, agencies and others to reveal the scale of child vulnerability in England.  It estimates that 2.1 million of England’s 11.8 million children – one in six – are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help.

The study also warns that for 1.6 million of those vulnerable children, the support is effectively ‘invisible’ – we don’t know if they are actually getting any coordinated help, despite the difficulties they are growing up with. Some of the risks these children face include parents with mental health problems or parents who are alcoholics or have substance abuse problems.

The 2.1 million children growing up in families with these complex needs includes:

  • 890,000 children with parents suffering serious mental health problems
  • 825,000 children living in homes with domestic violence
  • 470,000 children whose parents use substances problematically
  • 100,000 children who are living in a family with a “toxic trio” (mental health problems, domestic violence and alcohol and/or substance abuse)
  • 470,000 children living in material deprivation
  • 170,000 children who care for their parents or siblings

Full detail: Children’s Commissioner’s annual study of childhood vulnerability in England

Summary document: Vulnerability Report 2018

 

 

Hot weather health warnings

Warmer weather forecasts for parts of England have prompted warnings to take care from Public Health England 

deck-chair-2682753_1920

The hot weather has now been in place for 2 weeks and we are seeing an increase in the number of people who are attending GP surgeries and calling NHS 111 for heat related conditions such as sunburn, sunstroke, heatstroke and insect bites.

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

Find out more about how to cope in hot weather.

More details about the weather alert is available on the MET Office website.

New NHS app will make it quicker and easier to access health services

The free app will be available to everyone in England in December 2018

ehr-1476525_1280

The new NHS app will give patients safe and secure access to their GP record. Patients will be able to use it to:

  • make GP appointments
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • manage long-term conditions
  • access 111 online for urgent medical queries

It means patients will be able to secure a GP appointment with the click of a button, rather than join a queue of callers attempting to ring the local surgery at the same time each morning.

Patients will also be able to use the app to state their preferences relating to:

  • data-sharing
  • organ donation
  • end-of-life care

The app has been developed by NHS Digital and NHS England. It will be available through the App Store or Google Play and once downloaded users can simply sign up for an NHS account.

Full story here

Working together to safeguard children

Revised statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  It sets out new legal requirements for local police, councils and health services who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions | Department for Education

people-3155982_1920

Children at risk of abuse or neglect will now be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

Strengthened guidance published by the Department for Education sets new legal requirements for the three safeguarding partners, who will be required to make joint safeguarding decisions to meet the needs of local children and families.

Senior police, council and health leaders will jointly be responsible for setting out local plans to keep children safe and will be accountable for how well agencies work together to protect children from abuse and neglect.

The new advice is aimed at all professionals who come in to contact with children and families and includes guidance on current threats to child protection, such as sexual and criminal exploitation, gangs and radicalisation.

Full detail: The Department of Education | Working together to safeguard children

Additional link: Press release

NHS patients willing to pay more tax to improve services

More than four in five of NHS users would be willing to pay more tax to secure significant improvements to the service, according to a new poll commissioned by the NHS Confederation | story via OnMedica

The Ipsos MORI poll surveyed 1,003 adults across England, Scotland and Wales and found that 84% of participants polled would be willing to pay more tax if the NHS’s level of service ‘improved a great deal’, compared with 75% who would be willing to pay more tax for slightly improved services. 61% would be willing to pay more if it ensured that services remained at current levels.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The poll shows that the British people are willing to pay more for better care and that there is an understanding we have to change the way we deliver care – we cannot go on as we have been.

“But we must not raise expectations about what can be achieved – there will be tough decisions ahead. The settlement is welcome, but falls short of the 4% independent experts say we need to deliver even modest improvements.

“It is now undeniably clear there is an appetite among the taxpayers to put their hands in their pockets for the cash we need to make the NHS a service we can be proud of in its 70th year and for the years to come”.

Full story: Majority of public willing to pay more tax for NHS | OnMedica

Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

birthday-2496215_1920.jpg

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS…

Looking ahead: the NHS at 100

Looking ahead: the NHS at 100 | Healthcare Financial Management Association

looking
Image source: http://www.hfma.org.uk

The challenges facing the NHS are significant. Waiting lists are increasing, A&E attendances are rising and access to GP
appointments can be difficult. Alongside this is a growing population who are living longer and developing more complex conditions, which increases demand on an
already overstretched service.

This report explores the key challenges the HFMA think will have the biggest impact on the financial future of health and social care.  It highlights the likely direction of travel and provides insight to help inform current decision-making.

Full report: Looking ahead: the NHS at 100