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Doctors call for “radical” package of reforms to children’s services

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2663 (Published 21 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2663
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

A radical and urgent redesign of paediatric hospital services is needed in order to safeguard and improve health outcomes for children and young people in the UK, a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has warned.

The report describes how children’s hospital services are being stretched to breaking point because of underinvestment and increasing demand. Many services are operating with dangerously low levels of staff, college members report, with trainee doctors left to manage wards because there are not enough senior consultants.

The college says a radical redesign of children’s health services is needed with more care delivered by experienced and better trained clinicians to ensure that the quality of services is maintained and improved. It is calling for a larger proportion of care to be delivered by consultants, supported by more specialist children’s nurses and GPs trained in paediatrics.

The college wants to see a 50% increase in the number of paediatric consultant posts and a reduction in the number of trainees, a substantial expansion in the number of …

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