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iHV shares RCPCH’s concerns on workforce shortage

28th April 2017

The iHV shares the concerns of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that children’s health services are being put at risk by a serious shortage of paediatricians.

Gaps in paediatric rotas, uncertainty over the status of non-UK nationals working in the NHS, poorly co-ordinated planning, and a demoralised workforce, are putting increasing pressure on child health services and placing quality of care in jeopardy, according to a new report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

It shows that demand for children’s healthcare is increasing, with the number of hospital admissions for children in England rising by 25% between 2013/14 and 2015/16, from 1.2million to 1.5million and attendances by children at Accident and Emergency Departments growing by 7%, from 4.5 million to 4.8 million over the same period.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director, iHV, said:

“The iHV shares the concerns of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that children’s health services are being put at risk by a serious shortage of paediatricians.  This situation, coupled with the reducing numbers of health visitors, will have a drastic impact on the health and wellbeing of babies, children and families.  A health visitor’s role is to help parents to manage minor illnesses and reduce accidents within the home and so reduce the numbers of babies and children needing to go to hospital.  But the reducing health visitor numbers will put a greater demand on reducing paediatric services, which will have economic consequences for the future, particularly on the already cash-strapped NHS.”

The RCPCH Report “The State of Child Health: The Paediatric Workforce” is based on data from the RCPCH Workforce Census 2015, with additional data from the Office of National Statistics, and RCPCH trainee recruitment processes.