Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Child health unravelling in UK

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 05 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l963

Rapid Response:

Re: Child health unravelling in UK

The fascinating coincidental publication of Editorial on Child Health crisis and the Essay on Doctors can’t care for patients if the NHS doesn’t care for doctors in the BMJ last week, churns my sentiments to the core.

Child poverty, child physical health and then mental health are all linearly linked , we have known for generations, and are not surprised about the effect of current political chaos and deteriorating economy having its toll on the morale of the citizens , doctors are no exception.

Couple the above with poor strategies and administration you will see poor health-care , health, and degenerating humanity. Then follows everything that makes the headlines on British newspapers. Children’s suicide, Knife crimes on the roads of London and declining statistics of Child mortality, and stress on the health-care work-force.

The poor governance is not isolated or superficial: it's deep rooted at various levels. That’s what is reflected in the other Essay on concerns about care for the professionals. My pointers are towards the health-care managers and related bodies/ policies. If it was not for these there would not be reluctance of students to enter into medicine, and the lack of interest in joining the NHS, or highly demanding specialities such as Paediatrics. This I can say with conviction having been the Consultant paediatrician, Clinical Coordinator, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Educational and Clinical Supervisor and mentor for doctors for over two decades in the UK.

Radical restructuring of governance and regulatory bodies is the call of the day, if we have a genuine wish to get things sorted, rather than the band-aid intervention of blaming one thing or the other.

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 March 2019
Neel Kamal
Consultant Community Paediatrician
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, George Still Forum ( ADHD in Children), British Association for Community Child Health