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Found 45 results
  1. News Article
    Northern Ireland's infant mortality rate remains the highest of any UK region although it has decreased, according to a new report. Infant mortality is a measure of deaths of children under one year of age. The report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) shows the current rate is 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2017, the figure stood at 4.8 deaths. Infant mortality rates decreased in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales but remained unchanged in England, which has the second highest rate of 3.9 deaths per 1,000. The report also highlights an increase in the suicide rate among young people aged 15–24 years. Responding to the figures, Health Minister Robin Swann said the physical and mental health of children and young people was a "priority" for the for the Northern Ireland Executive. "My department is already investing in a number of programmes and strategies which seek to address child health inequalities and improve the wellbeing of our children." Dr Ray Nethercott, RCPCH officer for Ireland acknowledged the current healthcare crisis as well as concerns about waiting lists and standard of care but added that "children's health and wellbeing should not be seen as being in competition with adult services or health provision". "Acting early to treat and prevent conditions, and reducing the impact of factors such as poverty, can really improve health outcomes. A healthier population of children and young people will reduce many of the pressures on adult services in the long term." Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 March 2020
  2. News Article
    More than 70 children and young people have been put at risk by long delays in treatment by mental health services in Kent and Medway, HSJ has learned. According to a response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by HSJ, 205 harm reviews have been carried out for patients waiting for treatment following a referral to the North East London Foundation Trust, which runs the child and adolescent mental health services in Kent and Medway. Of those, 76 patients, who had all waited longer than the 18 week target time for treatment, were found to be at risk of harm. One patient had to be seen immediately as they were judged to be at “severe” risk. Seven were found to be at “moderate” risk and 68 at “low” risk. The trust said “risk” meant a risk of harm to themselves or others. But it said none of the 76 patients had come to actual harm. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 25 February 2020
  3. News Article
    The number of nurses in schools has fallen in recent years, prompting fears that pupils’ lives are being put “at risk”. Teaching assistants are being asked to carry out medical interventions, such as injections, without adequate training or support, the GMB union, which represents school staff, has said. Data, obtained by the GMB union through a Freedom of Information request, shows the number of school nurses has fallen by 11 per cent in four years – from 472 in 2015 to 420 in 2018. Karen Leonard, National Schools Officer at the GMB union, said: “The uncomfortable truth is that in too many schools children are not getting the medical support they need.” Ms Leonard added: “School staff should not administer medicine unless they feel fully confident in their training and lines of accountability, but often they are placed in uncomfortable situations." “This is a highly stressful state of affairs for children, parents, and staff, who fear they will be blamed if something goes wrong. It is not alarmist to say that lives are at risk.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 February 2020
  4. News Article
    Delays diagnosing and treating children with arthritis are leaving them in pain and at a higher risk of lifelong damage, a national charity has warned. Arthritis is commonly thought to affect only older people, but 15,000 children have the condition in the UK. Versus Arthritis says many children are not getting help soon enough. The NHS said: "Arthritis in young people is rare and diagnosing it can be difficult because symptoms are often vague and no specific test exists." Zoe Chivers, Head of Services at Versus Arthritis, said: "We know that young people often face significant delays getting to diagnosis simply because even their GPs don't recognise that it's a condition that can affect people as young as two. It's often considered that they're just going through growing pains or they've just got a bit of a viral infection and that's not the case." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 February 2020
  5. Content Article
    This web page addresses some of the myths around eating disorders and includes videos of patients with eating disorders talking about their experiences.
  6. News Article
    A number of doctors have claimed a service under which adolescents with gender dysphoria can be given puberty-suppressing hormone blockers is "unsafe" and must be immediately stopped, but their concerns were suppressed. The service is provided in Ireland by flying in two clinicians from an NHS trust in London to run clinics at Crumlin Children's Hospital. But the Irish Independent has learned at least three doctors working in the gender area expressed grave concerns over the service provided by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust at Crumlin. The concerns over standards of clinical care and governance were raised at a meeting of doctors and hospital officials in Crumlin last March. These included that children had been started on hormone treatment when they did not appear to be suitable. However, the issues raised and calls by the doctors for the service to be "terminated with immediate effect" were omitted from draft minutes of the meeting. News of their concerns comes days after it emerged a lawsuit was being taken by a former nurse, a parent, and a former patient against the trust in the London High Court. The action is challenging the clinic's practice of prescribing hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones to children under the age of 18. The trust has also been hit by a series of resignations by psychologists amid disquiet about the alleged "over-diagnosis" of gender dysphoria. Read full story Source: Irish Independent, 3 February 2020
  7. Content Article
    The second PSHO investigation found that the local NHS investigation processes were not fit for purpose, they were not sufficiently independent, inquisitive, open or transparent, properly focused on learning, or able to span organisational and hierarchical barriers, and they excluded the family and junior staff in the process. Had the investigations been proper at the start, it would not have been necessary for the family to pursue a complaint. Rather, they would, and should, have been provided with clear and honest answers at the outset for the failures in care and would have been spared the hugely difficult process that they have gone through in order to obtain the answers they deserved. As a result, service and investigation improvements were also delayed.
  8. News Article
    A quarter of children referred for specialist mental health care because of self-harm, eating disorders and other conditions are being rejected for treatment, a new report has found. The study by the Education Policy Institute warns that young patients are waiting an average of two months for help, and frequently turned away. It follows research showing that one in three mental health trusts are only accepting cases classed as the most severe. GPs have warned that children were being forced to wait until their condition deteriorated - in some cases resulting in a suicide attempt - in order to get to see a specialist. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 10 January 2020
  9. News Article
    Legal action is being launched against the NHS over the prescribing of drugs to delay puberty. Papers have been lodged at the High Court by a mother and a nurse against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK's only gender-identity development service (Gids). Lawyers will argue it is illegal to prescribe the drugs, as children cannot give informed consent to the treatment. The Tavistock said it had a "cautious and considered" approach to treatment. The nurse, Sue Evans, left the Gids more than a decade ago after becoming increasingly concerned teenagers who wanted to transition to a different gender were being given the puberty blockers without adequate assessments and psychological work. Ms Evans said: "I used to feel concerned it was being given to 16-year-olds. But now, the age limit has been lowered and children as young as perhaps 9 or 10 are being asked to give informed consent to a completely experimental treatment for which the long-term consequences are not known." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 January 2020
  10. News Article
    Critically ill children are being rushed from one part of England to another because NHS hospitals are running short of intensive care beds in which to treat them, the Guardian has revealed. An increase in severe breathing problems in children driven by winter viruses and infections, including flu, means some are having to be transferred sometimes many miles from their home area because there are not enough paediatric intensive care (PICU) beds locally. Specialist doctors who staff the units say the situation is “dangerous and rotten for the families” involved and that staff are firefighting to handle the number of children needing sometimes life-saving care, many of whom are on a ventilator to help them breathe. In the past few weeks, young patients have been sent from the Midlands to Sheffield, from London to Cambridge, and from one side of the Pennines to the other in order to get them a place in a PICU. One doctor at a PICU in the Midlands said: “PICU beds are always in high demand. But since winter hit this year, around six weeks ago, the situation feels like we are simply firefighting. Many days I come on shift to find there are no beds in [our] region and the patients referred to us end up in Southampton, Sheffield, Oxford and other centres far away." “The PICU network is overstretched. There aren’t enough beds, nurses or skilled doctors.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 December 2019
  11. Content Article
    In this short film, Dr Peter-Marc Fortune discusses the role of human factors in the recognition, response and escalation of the deteriorating child.
  12. Content Article
    In this short video, Kath Evans explains the importance of working with families to ensure that the safest care to our children and young people is given by healthcare professionals.
  13. Content Article
    This has not been implemented in a clinical setting. However, parents/ carers have been involved in the initial testing and ongoing development. Feedback is provided either via the helpline, an online survey signposted within the app or the email address webquery@youngepilepsy.org.uk.
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