Editorials

NHS must prioritise health of children and young people

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1116 (Published 14 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1116

The hidden crisis - where are the government and RCPCH, and what is their explanation?

Further to my recent letters [1,2,3] I draw Prof Viner's attention [4] to two alarming local news reports in the last week.

This is one is from the (Bradford) Telegraph and Argus - again the focus is on cuts to the service not the massive upsurge in disability [5]:

"Dominic Wall, head of Southfield Special School, said there is a “growing demand for children with complex needs” in Bradford.

"He said: “In the past three years it has gone up in excess of 25%, but we have not had increased government funding to match the growth, but we get a fixed amount per place..."

And from Wessex FM News [6]:

"Over the last 22 months, Dorset has seen a 49 per cent increase in children with an Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). There were 2094 children and young people with an EHCP plan at the end of March and the council expects that figure to have increased to more than 2,440 by 2023."

Prof Viner states [4] 'Children and young people are a quarter of our population...but 100% of our future' but if this is the future the problems are going to be much bigger than he begins to contemplate.

[1] John Stone, 'Re the NHS must prioritise health of children and young people - what about autism', 19 March 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k1116/rr
[2] John Stone, 'The government must face up to the autism pandemic, and so must the RCPCH', 26 March 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k1116/rr-0
[3] John Stone, ' Re: The government must face up to the autism pandemic, and so must the RCPCH', 1 April 2018, https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k1116/rr-2
{4] Russell M Viner, 'NHS must prioritise health of children and young people' BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1116 (Published 14 March 2018)
[5] David Jagger, 'Protest unsuccessful as Council passes cuts to disabled children's services' , Telegraph and Argus 3 April, http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/local/localbrad/16134647.Pare...
[6] Wessex FM News, 'Multi-million pound investment for special needs education in Dorset' , https://www.wessexfm.com/news/dorset-news/2545986/multi-million-pound-in...

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 April 2018
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22