The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have said the government should scrap the proposed Health and Social Care Bill, as it will damage children's health.

In a letter to The Lancet, more than 150 paediatricians said that "if passed, we believe that the bill will have an extremely damaging effect on the healthcare of children and their families, and their access to high quality, effective services".

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health are the latest Royal College to criticise the bill, and follow similarly disparaging remarks made by the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Nursing.

The letter went on to say that: "In our view, no adequate justification for the bill has been made.

"The costs of dismantling existing National Health Service structures are enormous and, at a time of financial austerity for all public services, have resulted in precious resources being diverted to private management firms and away from frontline patient care.

"We believe that the bill will undermine choice, quality, safety, equity, and integration of care for children and their families."

In a response published in the Guardian, the Department of Health denied that the bill will have a negative impact on children's healthcare. It said: "It's not true to say that the health and social care bill will fragment children's healthcare.

"In fact, the bill will help address the very concerns about fragmentation that the experts raise.

"It will help the NHS and other public services work together better for children, young people and their families."

Posted by Robert Mair on 17/02/2012