A new Division, covering the whole of Kent, dedicated to Children’s Health has recently been created, collocated within KCC’s Children, Families and Education (CFE) Directorate. This reflects the commitment to improving health for all children and young people, in partnership with Kent PCTs and other agencies as part of the Every Child Matters and Children’s Trust agenda.
The Division is developing under the leadership of Richard Murrells, as an associate Director of both PCTs and KCC’s CFE Directorate. The process began in September 2006 with the creation of the Director post. In January 2007 both PCTs agreed Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust (ECKPCT) would take the lead function for Children and Young People’s Health Commissioning and currently Change Programmes for Eastern and West Kent PCT areas are being developed as well as the way local commissioning will work with GP Practice Based Commissioning.
This is a huge step forward for planning and commissioning children’s services as previously KCC worked with 8 PCTs as well as other Health Trusts across Kent. The Division brings together a team from Health to deliver this work, as part of the new Children’s Trust arrangements at both a county and local levels. The Trust will support joint projects and activities that seek to reduce child health inequalities and promote social inclusion.
Improving Health Outcomes for Children and Young People – what we want to achieve
In addition to the Children and Young People’s Plan, and the development of more holistic planning and commissioning of services both county-wide and locallly, for children and young people, there are other plans and targets we are working to achieve to support children’s health currently and over the next period:
- To promote healthy and active lifestyles for all children and young people
- To reduce health inequalities for children and young people in Kent
- To improve the emotional and mental health, resilience and self-confidence of children and young people
- To identify children and young people (aged 0-18) with emotional and/or psychological difficulties at the earliest possible stage and respond with the most effective support
- To improve the co-ordination, availability and accessibility of child and adolescent mental health services
- To reduce the use of harmful drugs and alcohol among young people and increase access to drug/alcohol targeted prevention and treatment services
- To reduce unwanted teenage conceptions and sexually transmitted infections and improve access to young people’s sexual health services
- Improve joint planning, services and outcomes for vulnerable groups of children and young people
- Improve services for children and young people who are disabled or suffer from long term health conditions.
We are also working with the new KCC Public Health Unit to deliver the Public Health Strategy for Kent’s children and young people.
Key to this work is developing evidence-based outcome measures for all Health services. Kent has produced one of the first Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) for Children’s Health to inform the new LAA and develop both county wide and locality based commissioning decisions.