Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chapter 10 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of chapter 10 on the future of health services for children. It was written by Professor Alan Craft, a Professor of Child Health and a Consultant Paediatrician. He is National President of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Chairman of Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Dr Simon Lenton, Vice President at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He works in Bath as a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in community child health.

They describe how superficially children themselves have never appeared to be healthier, but what about the health systems to support children and families, do we really have a first-class service or can we do better? It suggests some key ways of progressing child health services:

1) Increasing training for GPs to develop specialist skills in community child health.
2) They suggeat that it is no longer possible to continue to provide inpatient care on every hospital sites. Therefore, services will have to be redesigning. However, they warn against advancement attempts being thwarted at the last moment by politicians, concerned about losing votes.
3) Encourage “pathway thinking” as a logical way of providing information and lists the many good reasons for developing care pathways. They warn that the big challenge in developing better services for children, through managed networks, is difficult due to the fragmentation of commissioning. They site the example that for any child’s NHS “journey” there could be up to 7 different commissioning bodies (across health education social care and the community/voluntary sector) responsible for purchasing “bits” of a journey. The principles of commissioning have great potential for improving services if a way can be found to commission whole pathways across organisations, rather than contracts with individual organisations. Children’s health and well-being is dependent on multi-agency services, the outcome of which is only as good as the weakest link in the child’s journey.

Everyone has thoughts on the health and well-being of children in need and to comment further, post a comment here or log on to: www.thefutureofthenhs.com

1 comment:

Editorial said...

Good chapter.