Making Britain Great for Children and Families: Prioritising Health
As we move beyond the economic crisis, we have an opportunity to rethink our aspirations for children and families and we must demand a shift in ambition across every aspect of life in Britain today. This includes the health of our children and families. Though average life expectancy continues to rise due to improvements in well-being and health provision, there remain severe inequalities and some rising problems around particular health concerns, which must be addressed for a Britain of the future.
Health services are not family friendly: 4Children’s research shows that the majority of people do not believe that public services are accessible to families, with only 33% of people saying GP surgeries are family friendly and 28% of people saying hospitals are family friendly. This illustrates just how much more needs to be done to ensure that these health services understand family life and respond to families’ needs
Health is still viewed as a clinical issue rather than a social or public health issue: All evidence shows that health inequalities are interlinked yet all too often health diagnostics are provided in isolation – parents tell us they struggle to get holistic health support or treatment. This means that they never get the tailored health solutions they need
Many health services are still very un-coordinated: Services aimed at prospective parents and those with young children provided by midwives, health visitors and GPs are seldom being delivered in a joined-up way at present. All too often teenagers don’t know where or who to go for support with problems they may face around their own health questions, with a system that does not cater or focus on their needs. More broadly, the support services for problems with drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual health, diet and nutrition and mental health, as separate public health programmes do work together as closely as they should
Increasing pressure on budgets for children and family services: in 2013-14, local authorities will be spending nearly 15% less on Children’s Centres and Early Years services than in 2012-13
Download 4Children's manifesto for the future: Making Britain Great for Children and Families