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Found 70 results
  1. News Article
    Over the past few months, we have been living in unprecedented and uncertain times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown measures, school closures and social distancing have all had a substantial impact on the way we live our lives. But, what have been the experiences of children, young people and their families during this time? And how has children’s well-being been affected? Our well-being research Every year we (The Children's Society) measure the well-being of children in the UK through a regular survey, with the findings presented in our Good Childhood Report. This research has shown how, since 2009, children’s well-being in this country has been in decline. In our 2020 survey, we included a number of questions to gauge the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting social distancing/lockdown measures on children’s lives. The survey was completed between April and June, when the UK was in lockdown. Our latest briefing, Life on Hold, brings together the findings of these survey questions about Covid-19, together with children’s own accounts. Read the full article and findings here.
  2. Content Article
    The report identified five essential learnings: More than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions, from early April to mid-May. Restrictions on seeing people, being able to go outside and worries about the health of family and friends are the key factors driving poor mental health. Boredom is also a major problem for young people. Loneliness has been a key contributor to poor mental health. Feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month, with 18–24 year olds the most likely to see loneliness affect their mental health. Many people do not feel entitled to seek help, and have difficulty accessing it when they do. 1 in 3 adults and more than 1 in 4 young people did not access support during lockdown because they did not think that they deserved support. A quarter of adults and young people who tried to access support were unable to do so. Not feeling comfortable using phone/video call technology has been one of the main barriers to accessing support.
  3. News Article
    African American children are three times more likely than their white peers to die after surgery despite arriving at hospitals without serious underlying conditions, the latest evidence of unequal outcomes in health care, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “We know that traditionally, African Americans have poorer health outcomes across every age strata you can look at,” said Olubukola Nafiu, the lead researcher and an anaesthesiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “One of the explanations that’s usually given for that, among many, is that African American patients tend to have higher comorbidities. They tend to be sicker.” But his research challenges that explanation, he said, by finding a racial disparity even among otherwise healthy children who came to hospitals for mostly elective surgeries. Out of 172,549 children, 36 died within a month of their operation. But of those children, nearly half were black – even though African Americans made up 11% of the patients overall. Black children had a 0.07% chance of dying after surgery, compared with 0.02% for white children. Postoperative complications and serious adverse events were also more likely among the black patients and they were more likely to require a blood transfusion, experience sepsis, have an unplanned second operation or be unexpectedly intubated. Read full story Source: The Independent, 20 July 2020
  4. News Article
    Every child in Scotland will need additional mental health support as a consequence of measures taken to tackle the coronavirus crisis, according to the country’s children and young people’s commissioner. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian as he publishes Scotland’s comprehensive assessment of the impact of the pandemic on children’s rights – the first such review undertaken anywhere in the world – Bruce Adamson said the pandemic had sent a “very negative” message about how decision-makers value young people’s voices. He said Scotland has been viewed as a children’s rights champion but that efforts to involve young people in the dramatic changes being made to their education and support “went out the window as soon as lockdown came along”. There have been escalating concerns across the UK about children’s mental health after support structures were stripped away at the start of lockdown. Earlier this week, the Guardian revealed that five children with special educational needs have killed themselves in the space of five months in Kent, amidst warnings over the impact of school closures on pupils. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 July 2020
  5. News Article
    Delays in going to the emergency department because of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown may have been a contributory factor in the deaths of nine children, a snapshot survey of consultant paediatricians in the UK and Ireland has shown. Three of the reported deaths associated with delayed presentation were due to sepsis, three were due to a new diagnosis of malignancy, in two the cause was not reported, and one was a new diagnosis of metabolic disease. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 30 June 2020
  6. News Article
    More children died after failing to get timely medical treatment during lockdown than lost their lives because of coronavirus, new research by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) suggests. Six children under the age of 16 have died from COVID-19 in Britain since the pandemic began, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, seeking medical help too late was a contributory factor in the deaths of nine children in paediatric care new analysis has found, with the figure likely to be higher. A survey of 2,433 paediatricians, carried out by the RCPCH, found that one in three handling emergency admissions had dealt with children who turned up later than usual for diagnosis or treatment. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 25 June 2020
  7. News Article
    A High Court judge has ruled that an NHS trust was negligent in failing to consider early enough that a toddler with fever, lethargy, and vomiting might have had a serious bacterial infection and to give her intramuscular antibiotics. Mr Justice Johnson said that doctors from University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust should have ordered a lumbar puncture on the 15 month old girl on the day she was first seen or the next day. The girl, referred to in court as SC, was sent by her GP to the hospital by ambulance on 26 January 2006 with a note describing his findings on examination and ending “?meningitis.” The GP, Mark Dennison, had given her intramuscular penicillin. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 22 June 2020
  8. News Article
    Young people with learning disabilities are being driven to self-harm after being prevented from seeing their families during the coronavirus lockdown in breach of their human rights, a new report finds. The Joint Committee on Human Rights warned that the situation for children and young people in mental health hospitals had reached the point of “severe crisis” during the pandemic due to unlawful blanket bans on visits, the suspension of routine inspections and the increased use of restraint and solitary confinement. The report concluded that while young inpatients' human rights were already being breached before the pandemic, the coronavirus lockdown has put them at greater risk – and called on the NHS to instruct mental health hospitals to resume visits. It highlighted cases in which young people had been driven to self-harm, including Eddie, a young man with a learning disability whose mother, Adele Green, had not been able to visit him since 14 March. “When the lockdown came, it was quite quick in the sense that the hospital placed a blanket ban on anybody going in and anybody going out,” said Ms Green. “Within a week, with the fear and anxiety, he tried to take his own life, which really blew us away. We were mortified.” The Committee is urging NHS England to write to all hospitals, including private ones, stating they must allow visits unless there is a specific reason relating to an individual case why it would not be safe, and said the Care Quality Commission (CQC) should be responsible for ensuring national guidance is followed. Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 June 2020
  9. News Article
    Doctors should reassure parents and carers of children who are immunocompromised that immunosuppression does not seem to increase the risk of severe COVID-19, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises in a rapid guideline. “Covid-19 usually causes a mild, self-limiting illness in children and young people, even in those who are immunocompromised,” NICE says. Children and teenagers who are immunocompromised and their carers may be feeling particularly anxious and fearful about covid-19, so it is important they are involved in decision making as much as possible, NICE advises. Doctors should also support patients’ and carers’ mental wellbeing through communication and by signposting to charities and support groups. The guideline says that patients should not avoid their usual appointments unless they have been told to and should continue with their usual treatment. However, face-to-face contact should be reduced where safely possible and alternative approaches such as telephone, video, or email consultations used instead. When deciding whether to start treatments that affect the immune system, doctors should discuss the risks and benefits with the patient and their carers. If it is safe to delay treatment then watchful waiting should be undertaken. Read full story Source: BMJ, 1 May 2020
  10. News Article
    A serious coronavirus-related syndrome may be emerging in the UK, according to an “urgent alert” issued to doctors, following a rise in cases in the last two to three weeks, HSJ has learned. An alert to GPs and seen by HSJ says that in the “last three weeks, there has been an apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multisystem inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the UK”. It adds: “There is a growing concern that a [covid-19] related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK, or that there may be another, as yet unidentified, infectious pathogen associated with these cases.” Little is known so far about the issue, nor how widespread it has been, but the absolute number of children affected is thought to be very small, according to paediatrics sources. The syndrome has the characteristics of serious COVID-19, but there have otherwise been relatively few cases of serious effects or deaths from coronavirus in children. Some of the children have tested positive for COVID-19, and some appear to have had the virus in the past, but some have not. Read full story Source: HSJ, 27 April 2020 Do you work in paediatrics? Have you seen similar trends emerging? What are your thoughts on the concerns raised? Join the conversation in the hub community area:
  11. News Article
    A three-year-old child died after its desperate mother spent more than an hour on hold to the NHS 111 helpline. The ill child suffered a cardiac arrest at its home and died in hospital, according to details of critical incidents affecting children in London amid the coronavirus crisis. Another case saw a six-month-old die from sepsis and liver failure because the parents feared the child could catch Covid-19 in hospital, the Evening Standard reports. Doctors have raised concerns that parents are not seeking treatment for their children amid the outbreak. Read full story Source: 16 April 2020, Mail Online
  12. Content Article
    The activity book helps introduce children to ICUs, has activities to help them understand what ICUs do and what they might see when they visit one. They can write about how they feel, and their relative, if they would like to. The book also comes with an information sheet for parents or carers, about ways to support the child during this difficult time.
  13. News Article
    Children may have died from non-coronavirus illnesses because they are not coming to hospital quickly enough, amid concerns NHS 111 may be giving flawed advice to stay away, according to senior paediatricians. HSJ understands the concern about 111 giving the wrong advice to parents who should travel to hospital had been “escalated” to national leaders. Several senior paediatric leaders in London raised serious concerns to HSJ. They said several children in the past week had been admitted to intensive care in London, and had been harmed — and, in some cases, died — because of the issue, though they did not want to identify particular hospitals or cases. The sources said it was a national problem. Read full story Source: HSJ, 3 April 2020
  14. News Article
    Hospitals should allow parents to be with children who are being treated for the coronavirus, NHS England has confirmed, after a 13-year-old boy died without any family members beside him. Under its national guidance to hospitals, parents are considered essential visitors, but hospitals do have discretion to suspend visitors if it is “considered appropriate”. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed to visit a hospital. NHS England confirmed the position after 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died at King’s College Hospital in south London in the early hours of Monday without any family members present. A statement by his family suggested he was alone because of the risk of infection. On its website the hospital repeated the guidance sent to trusts by NHS England that states children are allowed one parent or carer as a visitor, but declined to explain why his family were not with him. The end-of-life charity Marie Curie has also called on doctors to allow families to be with their loved ones, describing it as an “important part of their duty of care”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 April 2020
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