Transformation of health services for children and young people in London is urgently needed. Children and young people in London suffer from poorer health outcomes than elsewhere in the country, across a number of areas from higher levels of mortality and serious illness, poorer mental health, variability in outcomes from common diseases such as asthma, and significant public health issues such as obesity. London has world-leading centres of excellence for tertiary paediatric care and some excellent examples of primary and secondary care but there are big differences in quality.
Key challenges in London
A quarter of the population (2,116,223) in London are children or young people. They have higher levels of mortality and serious illness, poorer mental health, variability in outcomes from common diseases such as asthma, and significant public health issues such as obesity.
Children and young people in London suffer from poorer health outcomes than elsewhere in the country.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have variable quality and often poor access and with limited connection with other community services for children.
There are multiple sites in London providing inpatient paediatric care and tertiary care with no single site providing the full range of children’s services needed. Major workforce challenges also exist in serving all these sites, with resultant quality issues.
The commissioning of these services is equally fragmented. Responsibility for commissioning sits across multiple organisations, limiting effective commissioning of pathways for complex childhood conditions.
These gaps have been reinforced by the NHS Five Year Forward View (2014) and the particular quality challenges London faces starkly presented in the London Health Commission’s report, Better Health for London which recommended action to reduce address the variation in quality and outcomes. For example, a boy born in Kensington and Chelsea has a life expectancy of over 84 years; for a boy born in Islington, less than five miles away, it is around 75 years.
Explore our report on the case for change for regional work on improving life outcomes for all of London’s children and young people.
From initial engagement with children and young people, watch our video below and see young people’s views about health services in London.
Our vision is of an integrated system for the health and care that promotes health and can be easily navigated by children and young people, their families and the health professionals delivering their care to achieve the best outcomes for these patients. Care will be provided in high-quality facilities local to families, with mental health needs treated with the same importance as physical health needs. All inpatient care will be provided in centres of excellence able to provide the highest quality, consultant delivered care, seven days a week.
Please see our children and young people’s resource pack for the latest summary of our work to improve children and young people’s care in London. It includes live links to our online resources.
Our key focus areas
- Developing population-based networks to promote health and co-ordinate care
- Reduce variation in the quality of services
- Integrating care across public health and primary and secondary healthcare services
- Develop commissioning of children and young people services to enable the effective commissioning of pathways of care
- Develop innovative access models of care