The foundations of good health and wellbeing are laid at the start of life in pregnancy, childhood and adolescence. The Marmot Review on health inequalities set out a framework for action that has at its centre the recognition that disadvantage starts before birth and accumulates throughout life.
This is reflected in the framework’s top two policy objectives:
- starting well – giving every child the best start in life
- developing well – enabling all children, young people and adults to maximize their capabilities and have control over their lives.
Children and young people are rightly a target for public health services. The fact of their youth means there is time to prevent damaging behaviours and attitudes developing and time to help them establish good patterns of managing their health for the rest of their lives. The development of the Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Strategy provides us with an opportunity to help improve outcomes for children and young people through their own voice as well as the support and help of professionals and family so that they are equipped for life no matter what their background or family circumstances.
To help with this, we would like to hear from you on the following questions in relation to public health:
- Where is the health service falling short for children and young people – what is our weakest link and what can we do to improve things to make sure it makes a real difference to the lives of children and young people?
- With so many different parts of the health system in place, what do they need to focus on and improve to make sure they each work together to deliver the best possible health service for children and young people?
- The NHS and Public Health Outcomes Frameworks propose key areas of focus: making sure everyone lives healthy lives for longer, addressing inequalities, enhancing quality of life for people with long term conditions, helping people recover from ill health or following an injury, ensuring people have a positive experience of care, treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from harm – are these the right priority areas in relation to children and young people’s health outcomes? Is there anything missing?
See outcomes specific to children and young people in these frameworks
- What should key health outcomes for children and young people include?
The Forum’s work on public health and prevention is led by Ann Hoskins and Barbara Hearn.