The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has published its State of Child Health 2020 report showing that for many measures of children’s health and wellbeing, progress has stalled, or is in reverse.
The report shows that across most indicators, health outcomes are worse for children who live in deprived areas. Inequalities in some outcomes have widened since the last State of Child Health report in 2017 – something rarely seen in high income countries. Progress has also been seriously affected by deep cuts to local authority budgets - used to finance public health initiatives and community services.
Even in areas where there have been notable improvements in children’s health, the UK often lags far behind other countries.
Dr Ronny Cheung, Clinical Lead for RCPCH and co-author of the report, said: ‘The harsh reality is that, in terms of health and wellbeing, children born in the UK are often worse off than those born in other comparably wealthy countries. This is especially true if the child is from a less well-off background. UK infant mortality rates have stalled, and in England they actually got worse between 2016 and 2017. For a high-income nation such as ours that should be a major wake up call. ‘