Health plans marginalise issues key to young people

Child abuse, alcohol misuse, disability and ethnicity issues are
being omitted from many health improvement plans (HImP) for
children and young people, five children’s charities said this

Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, NSPCC, the National
Children’s Bureau and NCH reviewed the second round of health
improvement plans. Since 1999, health authorities have been
required to take the lead in producing an annual HImP, a
multi-agency strategy to reduce social exclusion and inequalities
in health.

The review flags up the charities’ concern that the emphasis on
meeting national targets and priorities meant that some services
and issues, including alcohol and solvent misuse, were

Few plans mentioned strategies to prevent, detect and deal with
abuse and there was little reference to the extra protection needed
by disabled children.

The needs of specific groups of children and young people, such
as those from ethnic minorities or asylum seekers, were generally

The review also says that despite progress since 1999, it was
difficult to judge whether services were being delivered and to
what extent the health needs of young people were being met.

They highlighted a “minimalist approach” where few children and
young people were consulted on service development and the health
challenges they face.

Improving Children’s Health from NSPCC, publications and
information unit, 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH or e-mail

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