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The NHS is failing our children, says top children’s doctor

Children are being forgotten by the government as they face “disgraceful” waiting times for NHS treatment, Britain’s top paediatric doctor has warned.

Dr Camilla Kingdon said children are being failed because their care is not being treated as a priority, despite considerable progress having been made in reducing waiting times for adults.

In her final interview as president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, she also issued a stark warning over the impact of poverty on young people’s health, lamenting the rise in the number of children being treated for severe lung disease due to damp and poor ventilation in inadequate housing.

Many parents cannot afford to be at their dying or sick child’s bedside because of financial pressures – an issue that has grown significantly worse in the past five years, she said.

She told The Independent: “Children simply need to be made a priority. We cannot afford to be ignoring this problem.”

The latest NHS figures show that the backlog for children’s hospital care has risen again, increasing from 387,000 in August to 412,000 in January, despite the adult waiting list having fallen since October.

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Source: The Independent, 31 March 2024


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