What added value can school nursing bring to integrated care systems?
Integrated care systems will help provide real opportunity for school nursing services to improve the care of children and young people. Sharon White explains
Back in April 2021, a range of children's charities came together to combine our voices in shaping the Health and Care Act 2022, which is the legal framework which underpins Integrated Care Systems (ICS); we named ourselves the Children and Young People's Health Policy Influencing Group (HPIG) and I am delighted to say, we did just that!
As a result of nearly a year of collective effort, children, and young people (defined as up to the age of 25) are now on the face of the Act; this a key shift from the original documents. As a result of this, there are now specific commitments in relation to ICS. These include:
In addition, the government has acknowledged serious and distinct challenges with sharing relevant information about children and committed to delivering change in this area. The government will now lay a report before Parliament within a year setting out:
The changes we have managed to bring about represents a huge and significant achievement and ensures ongoing focus on babies, children, and young people in the new system, and within the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, that we have not seen for many years. Of course, there is still a long way to go, and we will, as a group, continue our efforts to support implementation and more detailed policy development.
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