Rethink on health services required

The health and well-being of looked-after and accommodated children
is being neglected, according to research by a leading

Dr Anne Grant told a conference in Glasgow that 86 per cent of
looked-after children in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian in
2000-2 had incomplete childhood health screening, including
immunisations, dental, vision and hearing assessments.

Two-thirds admitted smoking, 87 per cent said they abused alcohol
each week, and a third were sexually active and had unprotected
sex. However, the children did not necessarily understand that
these activities were risks as health issues were only seen as ones
needing medical treatment and not prevention.

Grant said the way health services for looked-after children were
organised did not work. She called for each child to have a
comprehensive health assessment as soon as possible after their
entry into the care system.

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