Intended for healthcare professionals


Promoting health of looked after children

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 05 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:381

Monitoring and documentation should be improved

  1. S Acharyya (, specialist registrar, community child health
  1. Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport NP20 2UB
  2. South Downs Health NHS Trust, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UJ

    EDITOR—Looked after children are among the most vulnerable in our society, with a higher level of health, mental health, and health promotion needs than others of the same age, as discussed by Polnay and Ward.1 Local authorities should ensure proper monitoring of their morbidity and developmental progress, which ideally should be documented in the annual medical reports.

    In April this year the records of 60 looked after children in the borough where I work were surveyed to find out whether their health needs have been adequately addressed. All of them were under 5 years old when they were placed in care, and the records were selected randomly from a total of around 150 children of that age group who are currently under care. Twenty one of the 60 were placed with one of their biological parents, while the rest were either with their relatives (11) or with other carers (28).

    All of them stayed …

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