nhsThe National Children’s Bureau (NCB) urges the Government to produce a child friendly version of the NHS constitution, as the current document is inaccessible and denies young people an understanding and awareness of their rights as patients.

NCB consulted children and young people and found that while they wanted to know more about their rights as patients, few of them had any awareness of the NHS Constitution – the key document where those rights are set out.

Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive of NCB said: "The revision of the NHS constitution is an opportunity for a shared understanding about health. To be truly effective for children and young people and help them take responsibility for their health they need an accessible and relevant version.

"Producing such a version can empower them to get better health care by understanding what they should expect and how to access information held about them. If we have an NHS constitution geared toward their needs all our children will have better health outcomes and this will benefit the whole population in the long term."

In a consultation response published today [1 Feb], NCB is calling for the creation of a children’s version of the strengthened NHS Constitution, which presents patient rights specifically as they apply to children and young people, in language they can easily understand. Furthermore, the participation of children should be championed by the Constitution so they are involved in decision making across the board: from the development of the health services they use to the design of the Constitution itself.

Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children said: "For disabled children and those with complex health conditions, the NHS Constitution is an essential means of holding the NHS to account.

"Children and young people who are cared for by a range of health, education and social care professionals need the Constitution to make clear their right to fully integrated care packages; one of the concerns consistently raised by disabled children and their families. It is critical that the NHS Constitution better represents children’s needs and that any child friendly version of the Constitution is accessible to disabled children."

The NCB today also today launched the Early Years Developmental Journal and is aimed at practitioners working with families to record and support children’s early development and to identify areas where extra help may be needed.

It is also designed to support key working and foster communication between all those involved in a child’s development. While its primary use is for families, it is also intended that the Journal will be a useful resource for the 24-30 month statutory EYFS progress assessment as well as supporting child health monitoring.

The Journal has been developed by a team of specialists in child development, early years, and childhood disability and special needs, led by John Oates, with Silvana Mengoni (Research Fellow), of the Child and Youth Studies Group in the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology at The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Further information about the Early Years Developmental Journal visit www.ncb.org.uk/early-support/resources/developmental-journals  

Posted 01/02/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com