The health of infants, children and young people in the UK has improved dramatically over the last 30 years. Many will lead happy and healthy lives, but the future health and happiness of a significant and growing number is in jeopardy. The bottom line is that the UK could do far more to improve child health and wellbeing. Particularly troubling are the stark inequalities in child health that have widened in the last five years.

The consequences to the health and prosperity of the nation from inaction in improving infant, child and young people’s health are serious. For example, a substantial number of risk factors for disease in adults are initiated in intrauterine life and infancy, and amplified in childhood and young adult life; prematurity, slow intrauterine growth, and maternal diabetes and obesity are all risk factors for poor metabolic health in adult life, and around 80% of overweight and obese children will become overweight and obese adults, reducing their lifespan and imposing an enormous burden upon our health and care services from the ravages of chronic, non-communicable disease.

We pledge to do all we can to improve and safeguard the health and wellbeing of our children, in Bradford and will work with partners to improve healthy weight gain through childhood.

How are we doing

  • across Bradford 35.7% of children aged 10-11 years are classified as overweight or obese, in other words over a 1 in 3 are overweight or obese.

To note:

  • children’s services within the Bradford Metropolitan District Council are currently developing a new children’s dashboard and we will use this to update this page, upon its release.
  • other data are described under other programme areas such as mental health, diabetes etc.

What we have achieved in 2016/17

  • our children’s healthy weight strategy is currently being refreshed and will be in place for 2017-2020 with a new action plan being developed. We also have an integrated early years strategy which is currently in development and includes actions to address childhood obesity. 
  • we have continued to work with all health service providers to support achievement of the statutory requirements for health agencies within the SEND code of practice 2014. We are building the relationship between the health sub-group and the strategic partnership for SEND and behaviour to improve communication with and build relationships with other stakeholder including social care and education providers. In addition, a joint commissioner and provider education and healthcare plan pathway development meeting has been agreed to scope the process from a health perspective and input.

Other work of the programme has included:

  • supporting the urgent and emergency care programme to develop alternative models of care to reduce hospital admissions building on the ambulatory care pathways for common childhood conditions. Five childrens pathways are being launched by our urgent and emergency care programme under a Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention project to launch pathways e.g. the wheezy child pathway on Map of Medicine
  • we have mapped current access to and provision of continence services across CCG and public health commissioned services. The findings will be shared with all relevant commissioners to allow decisions to be taken around recommendations for revised pathways which will allow children and young people to receive appropriate levels of care in the community and reduce the pressure on hospital-based specialist services.
  • mapping bereavement support for parents who lose a child, and children who lose a parent/sibling, to support access to appropriate levels of service in a timely fashion,
  • developing service specifications in respect of the transitions care co-ordinators recurrently funded from April 2016,
  • developing proposals for revised diagnostic pathways for children and young people with autism
  • working with the children’s community nurses and practice nurses to agree the level of would care to be provided at a practice level
  • reviewing asthma services, including the wheezy child pathway, aligning this work with the Bradford Breathing Better
  • we spend much of our time engaging in partnership discussions across a variety of areas including prevention and early help, infant mortality, children with special educational needs and disabilities and supporting implementation of Better Start Bradford.
  • children and young people initiated a number of projects aimed at children aged 0-4 years and their families, projects include co-designing a parenting course to empower parents to manage minor ailments in the home
  • future in mind transforming mental health services for children and young people to promote mental wellbeing.

Children - plans over the next two years

We have reviewed the resources that the three Bradford district and Craven CCGs contribute towards respite care for children and young people with complex health needs (both funding and nursing support).  A report with recommendations will be presented to the CCGs’ clinical boards early in 2017/18.

Over the next two years we will continue to work with service providers around the implementation of the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 2014.  We are working with service provides and commissioners across the system to improve services for children and young people with SEND and to develop the evidence of these service improvements to inform the CQC and Ofsted joint inspection.

Following a delay in the review of children’s community nursing services, this work will be completed alongside the work to review urgent and emergency care for children and young people in 2017, allowing for the development of a new approach to children’s nursing support which covers both acute and community based care.

We will link work looking at support for children and young people with asthma to the Bradford Breathing Better programme in 2017/18, looking for opportunities to develop our links into schools and other community based settings.

Our children plans for the next five years

  • increase opportunities for engagement and co-production, 
  • support the developments of the early help offer,
  • developing joint commissioning approaches across health, education and social care,
  • improving the experience of children and young people accessing services,
  • improve health outcomes for children and young people,
  • seeking opportunities to deliver out of hospital care where clinically safe,
  • to maximise opportunities to work with public health to prevent ill health,
  • improving access to services for children and young people to SEND services.