The Scottish Government has been praised for the progress it has made in children’s health over the past year.
But the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPH) says urgent steps still need to be taken to improve the review system for infant mortality.
RCPH issued multiple recommendations to improve children’s health across the UK 12 months ago.
The countries’ progress scorecard states that Scotland and Wales are performing better than England.
RCPH integrates with Scottish policies designed to reduce child poverty and increase the number of health visitors.
Children in England deserve ‘better’ from healthcare
The passage of the Child Poverty Act aimed at reducing poverty has been cited as an example of progress in Scotland.
South of the border, it warned that the growing decline in public health was adversely affecting children’s services.
Because of the health of children in the UK, even in the worst of Western Europe, the report’s authors say policy commitments must be made.
RCPCA President Professor Nina Modi said: “Everyone has the presence of science – invest in children’s health and make a huge difference in their health in later life and consequently in their economic productivity.
“This is a time of long-term vision in the interest of the country’s health and prosperity, yet the focus remains short-term and ineffective.”
Scotland RCPH official Dr Steve Turner welcomed the results but said more needed to be done to meet the needs of children and young people.
He said: “I am delighted to see the agenda for advancing the health and well-being of children in Scotland.
“More than a year after the launch of our state report on children’s health, it is encouraging that so many promises have been made about children’s health. Now that these key commitments have been made, it is important to make sure.”
Dr. Turner added: “In particular, about 450 children, adolescents and young people are dying in Scotland each year, and in order to ensure a proper review of infant mortality – a commitment is urgently needed.
“Scotland is currently one of the worst affected countries for child health in Europe and obviously much more needs to be done, especially around ensuring that the health system meets the needs of children and young people.
“It is disappointing that there has been no progress in funding GPs for child health training. We know this will improve decision-making, it can reduce the pressure on health care as a whole, and GPs support it. We only need financial support from the government now.”
“Another recommendation that requires urgent attention is to provide each child. A long-term condition with a reputable physician or health professional.
“This simple arrangement will ensure that there is continuity of care for children. long-term conditions and that a health professional is responsible for coordinating their treatment. So that any action is taken as soon as possible.”