Rationing by undercapacity where you can get away with it – “Children’s health ‘shocking’ postcode lottery, charity says”

The Post Code Lottery has been discussed by NHSreality on a  number of occasions. The “universality” of Aneurin Bevan’s original NHS has been lost. The idea of mutualisation needs to be revisited for the different Regional Health Services as a whole. It’s such a pity that there is no NHS any more to mutualise.. “Rationing by undercapacity where you can get away with it” seems to be the policy of most trusts and CCGs..

Now a National Children’s Bureau enquiry is reported by the BBC 7th September 2015 as “Children’s health ‘shocking’ postcode lottery, charity says”

Some local authorities in England are not doing enough to prevent health problems in children under the age of five, a report suggests.

The National Children’s Bureau says it found wide variations in levels of obesity and tooth decay, even in areas of similar deprivation.

The charity said it was “shocking” children could have “wildly different” health prospects depending on location.

The government said it showed the need to devolve health spending locally.

The report, which analysed data from Public Health England, showed 51% of five-year-olds in Leicester tooth decay compared with 9.5% of five-year-olds in West Sussex.

It also found a child on the Isle of Wight is more than four times more likely to be admitted to hospital with an injury than a child in central London.

The charity said that while variations are closely linked to poverty, poorer health outcomes in deprived areas are not inevitable.

Children in Hartlepool, South Tyneside and Islington, north London have relatively low rates of tooth decay despite high levels of poverty while Salford in Greater Manchester has low obesity rates.

From October councils in England will take on responsibility for young children’s public health services but the charity said the government had to make improving services “a national mission”.

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said: “It is shocking that two children growing up in neighbouring areas can expect such a wildly different quality of health.

“The link between poverty and poor health is not inevitable. Work is urgently needed to understand how local health services can lessen the impact of living in a deprived area.

“We need local and national government to make the same efforts to narrow the gap in health outcomes across the country for under-fives as has been made to narrow the gap in achievement between poor and rich pupils in school.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “We have increased the number of midwives and health visitors, and later this year our childhood obesity strategy will outline how we will help children lead healthier lives.

“The variations found in this report underline the need for devolving public health spending to local areas who know the issues which affect their population.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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