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Children getting ‘conveyor belt’ care due to waiting list pressure

The pressure to tackle long waiting lists in children’s community services is impacting care quality, clinical leaders have warned.

It comes after community health services waiting list figures were published for the first time by NHS England last week.

They revealed more than 200,000 children were waiting, of whom 12,000 had been waiting more than a year, and 65,000 more than 18 weeks. While adult community services lists have been coming down fairly steadily since the autumn, children’s services are failing to make progress.

The children’s services with the longest lists are community paediatrics (which mostly deals with neurological development issues such as autism and ADHD), speech and language therapy, and children’s occupational therapy.

Specialists in those areas told HSJ it was the result of staffing gaps, rising and more complex demand, Covid backlog, and years of underfunding.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 20 March 2023


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