NHS Lothian launches vision for children’s services

Health and wellbeing services for children and young people in Lothian are set to be strengthened with the launch of a pioneering new strategy today (Friday 7th November).

NHS Lothian’s Children and Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy sets out a clear vision, principles and approach to services over the next six years.

It was unveiled by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People at a conference organised by NHS Lothian.

The document sets out NHS Lothian’s vision and is the road map for reducing inequalities and improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Lothian.

Tim Davison, Chief Executive, NHS Lothian, said: “This strategy is crucial to children’s and young people’s services.’

“It will underpin all the work we do over the next six years and will help to transform services to ensure that the interests and health of children are at the forefront of everything we do.”

The document outlines how the health board will work with children, young people, their families, public, the voluntary sector and local authorities, to improve the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Sally Egan, Associate Director and Child Health Commissioner, NHS Lothian said: “Every child should have the best start in life and grow up being healthy, safe, confident and resilient.

“This new strategy puts children and young people at the centre of their care and makes it clear who is responsible for their welfare.

“It comes at a time when we are forming closer working relationships with local authorities to fully integrate health and social care and are also looking ahead to the new Royal Hospitalfor Sick Children.”

Created with the help and input of children and young people and supported by the Children’s Parliament, the ambitious strategy is based around the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and underpins the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

It aims to tackle three key issues; how NHS Lothian engages with children and young people in their care and treatment, ensuring the health board recognises how children and young people feel, and improving access to health information and health services, which were all highlighted by children and young people during the extensive consultation period.

The strategy sets out plans to:

·        Involve children, young people and their families in decisions that affect their health and wellbeing

·        Improve the range and quality of healthcare services for children and young people

·        Reduce the impact of social circumstances on health

·        Ensure disabled children and young people will have their additional needs met

·        Increase staff understanding of the needs of the younger population

Minister for Children and Young People,​ Aileen Campbell said: “I’m delighted to help launch this ambitious new strategy. This successfully builds on the NHS services already in place, with a renewed focus on children’s rights and  wellbeing to help ensure they and their families can get access to the right help at the right time.

"The Scottish Government’s aspiration is for Scotland to be the best place to grow up and this type of pioneering work will make a real difference to the lives of our children and young people, and ensure they have the best possible start in life.”