Public health nursing roles ‘must be preserved’ to improve UK children’s health

Health visiting and school nursing services “must be preserved” if the UK is to make strides in improving children’s health, according to a ground-breaking state of the nation report.

Swingeing cuts to public health budgets in England are disproportionately affecting children’s services and putting vital early intervention at risk, warned the report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Overall, it painted a worrying picture of child health across the UK, bringing together for the first time data on a range of measures such as obesity, mortality and specific conditions like asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

While there had been improvements in child health in recent decades, it noted that the UK still lagged behind much of Europe in key areas, including infant mortality, smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding rates.

Full story in Nursing Times 26 January 2017