Intended for healthcare professionals


The national service framework for children

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 23 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:693
  1. Peter Lachman, consultant paediatrician (,
  2. David Vickers, consultant community paediatrician (
  1. North West London NHS Trust, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3UJ
  2. South Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, Ida Darwin, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB1 5EE

    Is about making maternal and child health a priority, not a luxury

    The national service framework for children, young people, and maternity services is the culmination of a process started three years ago and has been heavily influenced by the Kennedy and Laming reports.13 That it responds to two of the most critical reports on child health service adds to its importance. It provides the NHS with measures to assess the quality of service provided for children and mothers.

    Children have been invisible in the NHS. Until now they have been regarded as an addendum to adult services. In the NHS Plan children were largely ignored.4 Recent reforms have focused on adult services, with targets set by government to achieve them. One can argue that, as patients, pregnant women and children benefited from these reforms in terms of quantitative measures such as waiting times. However, the care of children requires a clearer vision in the more difficult qualitative areas. The national service framework emphasises that the majority …

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