Childhood obesity

The Government has published The Government response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee report ‘Childhood obesity; follow-up’.   This paper sets out the Government’s response to the conclusions and recommendations made in the Health Select Committee’s follow-up report on childhood obesity.


Teenage pregnancy prevention

Public Health England has published Teenage pregnancy prevention framework: supporting young people to prevent unplanned pregnancy and develop healthy relationships.  This framework aims to help local areas assess their teenage pregnancy prevention programmes to see what’s working well; identify any gaps; and take a multi-agency whole-system approach to prevent unplanned pregnancies and support young people to develop healthy relationships.  The framework is accompanied by teenage pregnancy narrative reports for each local authority.

Change4Life campaign: children’s snacking

Public Health England has launched a new Change4Life campaign encouraging parents to look for ‘100-calorie snacks, two a day max’ to help them purchase healthier snacks than the ones they currently buy.  Selected supermarkets are supporting the campaign and parents can also get money-off vouchers from Change4Life to help them try healthier options. An improved ‘Food Scanner’ app also shows parents how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in their food.

The Mental health of young women and girls

The Mental health of young women and girls: how to prevent a growing crisis | Mental Health Foundation

This policy paper from the Mental Health Foundation reports that the mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, with the gap between men and women widening  over recent years.  The evidence section in this paper shows that the last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls, with their needs reaching crisis levels.

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The paper makes a series of recommendations including:

  • identify pressure points and social determinants of mental health and wellbeing in young women and girls, to support the development of tailored mental health guidance aimed at preventing mental health problems for those at highest risk
  • improve the understanding of how to prevent mental health problems in young women by decision makers.

Full document: While your back was turned: How mental health policymakers stopped paying attention to the specific needs of women and girls

Online Mental Health Support For Young People

This report from the Education Policy Institute aims to provide insight into the efficacy of online counselling for children and young people. 

The report reviews the current literature on online counselling for children and young people. Through an analysis of local data it also assesses how young people respond to the Kooth model, an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform, before setting out recommendations for further research.

The report  finds Kooth online counselling to be popular and effective in increasing access to care and providing choice. The anonymous nature of the service was found to be a big benefit for children and young people.

Full report: Online Mental Health Support for Young People

Children and young people’s survey 2016

Latest CQC survey looks at the experiences of children, young people and their parents and carers attending hospital for treatment as an inpatient or day case.

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published the findings of it’s national survey looking into children and young people’s experiences of inpatient and day case care. Just under 35,000 respondents, including over 11,000 children and young people, were able to speak up about their healthcare experience.

Overall children and young people’s experiences of inpatient and day case care were mostly positive. The majority of children and young people said they were well looked after while in hospital, staff were friendly and that they received answers to their questions. Most parents and carers reported positive experiences for how their child’s pain was managed and for receiving enough information about new medication.

The survey results suggest there is scope for improvement in a number of areas, including:

  • Children and young people having enough things to do whilst in hospital
  • Involving children and young people in decision making
  • Being treated on age appropriate wards

Full detail at Care Quality Commission