We have an ongoing EACH Child and Young People’s Health Matters campaign to raise awareness of the healthcare needs, rights and responsibilities of sick children, young people and their families.
Before the May Holyrood 2016 Elections, we called upon the Scottish Government, elected Members of the Scottish Parliament and those responsible for the formulation of healthcare policy to ensure that the healthcare rights of all children and young people are upheld in line with the European Association for Children in Hospital (EACH) Charter, which is underpinned by the UNCRC. Click here to read the Manifesto.
Every five years or so from 1985 we have surveyed hospitals which admit children to check what facilities are available and to see what progress has been made in meeting the needs of sick children and their families. The survey helps us to monitor and report on developments and improvements in the care of sick children, to identify areas of concern which we raise with those who influence change, and also helps to inform parents of provision in their local area.
The findings of our 2012-13 survey (click here to view it) highlighted where progress needed to be made.
Our current campaigning priorities include:
Children’s Health Scotland has met with Scottish Government officials reviewing the ‘Food in Hospitals (Scotland) 2008 Guidance’. Click here for our recommendations on the Revised Guidance.
Click here for our Report on Food for Children in Hospital 2015. This contains findings of our survey on parents’/carers’ experience of mealtimes and the food provided for their children in hospital and our Survey of NHS Boards Dietetic and Catering Leads and CEOs.
In 2016 we carried out a survey of the experience of children and young people who had been given an anaesthetic in hospital in the previous three years; 242 parents parents/carers responded. There was satisfaction with the way children were looked after in the anaesthetic room but only 73% parents were happy with how their child was looked after in recovery. Please see the article in our Summer 2016 Newsletter. Children’s Health Scotland has now sent the survey findings to NHS Boards and expressed our view that if children are denied the opportunity of having their carer present at recovery their healthcare rights are not being met. We asked health boards to let us know what steps might need to be taken in their hospitals.
Through the work of our Special Smiles project in additional support for learning (ASL) schools, we became aware of inequities in the dental health provision for children with additional support needs. Unlike mainstream schools, ASL schools were not included in the Basic National Dental Inspection Programme inspections. This meant that parents did not receive information on their child’s dental health and no data is gathered on children in ASL schools to inform future care and planning and services. We found that children in ASL settings did not routinely receive Childsmile and fluoride varnish application, despite these children having a higher risk of dental caries and tooth extraction under general anaesthesia.
As a result of our concerns the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland instigated a review of provision to ASL settings. The result was that as from August 2016 ASL settings will be offered Childsmile tooth brushing and fluoride varnish application and will be included in the Basic National Dental Inspection Programme.
Ensuring equal access to education for all children and young people at times of illness has been a campaign focus. We lodged a petition to the Public Petitions Committee on 31 December 2010 on the provision of education for children and young people absent from school due to illness with the Scottish Parliament. To view our petition click here. www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/40072.aspx
MSPs Alison McInnes and Ken Macintosh lodged motions to Parliament in support of our campaigning work. The Scottish Government then set up a Stakeholder Group to review the 2001 Guidance on the Absence from School of Children and Young People through ill-health (Circular 5/2001). We were represented on this group. The revised guidance has now been published. Click here to view it. Guidance on the education of children unable to attend school due to ill health
We continue to campaign for the right of children and young people absent from school due to illness to receive appropriate education.
We have been closely involved in the development of this guidance in partnership with key stakeholders who represented children and young people, health, education and the voluntary sector. Read our position statement on Healthcare support in schools.
Read our position statement on Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
Until recently, we have been a member of the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, an alliance of organisations which support vulnerable children and young people and their families.
As a member we campaigned for children and young people with mental health needs to get the help they need when they need it. We believe children and young people’s mental health is as important as their physical health; that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) must be properly resourced and that there needs to be greater investment in early intervention to prevent poor mental health and thus provide support for the child as early as possible.
Click here for more information about the coalition. www.thescsc.org.uk
Service providers need to take account of the views of service users, so Children’s Health Scotland supports patients who wish to influence the design and development of healthcare services and polices that will affect them. For information about how to have a say in the shaping of child health services see How we help families
Children’s Health Scotland wants a good transition process from paediatric to adult healthcare for all children and young people. Read our position statement on Transition
Previous campaigning work has included:
This survey in 2007 examined the impact on families of caring for a sick child in Tayside. The findings and recommendations arising from it were passed to agencies in Tayside. To read the Caring for a Sick Child Report click here.
In 2007 we reviewed and reported on the play preparation and child-friendly support available for children and their families requiring surgical dental treatment. The report Dental Surgical Services for Children in Scotland encourages NHS dental services in Scotland, to adopt standards of care for the provision of appropriate preparation of children for dental surgical treatment. For more information click here.
In 2003 we campaigned vigorously to keep the link between maternal and child health with the Queen Mother’s Hospital being kept adjacent to the then Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.