GPs need more support to promote child health

GP would benefit from more training in paediatric medicine and child health, a report claims.

GPs need more child health CPD support
GPs need more child health CPD support

The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum report produced recommendations for the government after Professor Sir Ian Kennedy found in a 2010 investigation that many GPs had little or no formal paediatric training.

The forum, an independent group of experts from local government, the NHS and charities, has published recommendations for the government at the request of the health secretary to improve health outcomes for children and young people.

‘Poor experiences and poor care in childhood affect the whole life course, at great potential cost to the individual and to the NHS,’ the report warned.

The forum pointed out that the RCGP had submitted a proposal to Medical Education England for a fourth year of formal training for GPs in paediatric medicine and child health in order to improve health outcomes for children and young people.

The forum also warned that for a large number of GPs already practising in the UK, continuing professional development (CPD) in all aspects of children and young people’s health is important.

‘All GPs who care for children and young people should have appropriately validated CPD reflecting the proportion of their time spent with children and young people,’ said the report.

Forum chairwoman and Council for Disabled Children director Christine Lenehan said: ‘The forum is clear that the implementation of these recommendations is key to improving health outcomes for children and young people.’

Commenting on the publication of the report, NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: ‘It is good to see a particular focus on the importance of specialised education and training.

‘We must remember that improving the health outcomes of children is not something the NHS can do on its own. Producing long-term improvements in children’s health will require a concerted drive from the sector and support from government by producing a strategy which can be delivered across health, education and local government.’

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