Children’s Health Scotland is the leading Scottish children’s health charity. Our vision is for every child and young person in Scotland to realise their right to best quality healthcare in line with the UNCRC Articles and the EACH Charter.
Our CHS MANIFESTO 2021 focuses on the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland and has been informed by the views of children, young people, families and professionals.
Our campaign priorities
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 2019 survey (click here to view it) highlighted where progress needed to be made.
We want decision makers to ensure that children, young people and families have access to age-appropriate information to enable them all to receive the best quality healthcare. EACH Charter Article 7, UNCRC Articles 23 and 24. We campaign for:
- UNCRC information to be made available to children, young people and families in easy to read and accessible formats.
We ask MSPs of all parties and those with responsibility for the formulation of healthcare policy to hear the voices of children and young people with health conditions nationally. EACH Charter Articles 8 and 9, UNCRC Articles 28 and 29. We campaign for:
- Children with disabilities whether physical or developmental to have the help they need to participate fully in accessing healthcare and decisions that affect them.
- Young people moving into adult health services to be supported in this transition and to receive age-appropriate care by suitably trained staff in an age-appropriate environment.
We all want the best possible healthcare to be provided for children and young people to improve their life experiences. EACH Charter Article 8 and 10, UNCRC Articles 23 and 24. We campaign for:
- All children and young people with health conditions to be cared for at home whenever possible and in hospital only when necessary.
- Children to be cared for together with children who have the same developmental needs and for them not to be admitted to adult wards.
- The mental health and wellbeing of children and young people to be given the same priority as their physical health.
- Decision makers to use the opportunities afforded by the devolution of social security benefits to alleviate poverty and deprivation and to mitigate its damaging effects on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
- Good transition processes from paediatric to adult healthcare for all children and young people. Read our position statement on Transition
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.
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
We want a range of training and resources to be made available to ensure that children, young people and families, including carers, are empowered to identify the needs of children during times of illness and to access appropriate services. EACH Charter Article 7, UNCRC Articles 28 and 29. We campaign for:
- Equity of access to education for all children and young people who are absent from school due to ill health.
- Targeted and tailored support for children and young people with health conditions and their families.
- Training for Foster and Kinship carers, health professionals and local authority staff on children’s rights and the needs of children and young people with health conditions.
Play is serious business when it comes to children’s health. It is more than just a chance to have fun and can help children physically, mentally, and emotionally. EACH Articles 1, 4, 7, UNCRC Articles 23, 24 and 31. We campaign for:
- Policies to be introduced, to enable children, including those with additional support needs, to exercise their right to play in all healthcare settings.
- Steps to be taken through health-related play to improve inequalities in child dental health in Scotland.
- Funding to be made available to ensure that play specialists can deliver play services to those children with health conditions who need it.
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.
No child should go hungry. UNCRC Article 24. We campaign for:
- Healthy eating information to be provided and promoted for children at home and in school.
- Healthy school lunches to be made available for everyone and for children in vulnerable families to be provided with nutritious food appropriate for their age and culture during periods of school closure.
- Children in hospital to be provided with nutritious wholesome food, which is appropriate for those with special dietary needs and is attractively presented in an age-appropriate manner.
Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge have put together pocket-friendly, easy-peasy recipes for mega-tasty, super-filling, hearty home cooked grub. They home we can all get excited about cooking and the website includes information on healthy start vouchers. To find out more CLICK HERE.
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.
Previous Campaign Work
Our 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.