What can health professionals do?

We’ve highlighted specific, practical actions that individuals or teams can take to improve matters for children and young people seen in clinical settings. We want to help you to advocate locally for the children you treat.

Make every contact count

Children and young people may see an encounter with a trusted health professional as an opportunity to discuss issues beyond their immediate, physical complaint.

Professionals should actively explore other issues with which the child, young person or family may be struggling (whether relating to other physical or mental health problems, or with their social and family circumstances).

We might be worrying about things that makes us have pain you can’t find. Ask us what else is going on, don’t say there isn’t anything wrong with us.

Young person speaking to RCPCH &Us

Signpost disadvantaged children, young people and their families to sources of support

Our focus may be on health, but we know the health of children and young people is affected by factors beyond healthcare alone.

Make it your responsibility to know what local services exist for your disadvantaged children and young people, and direct them to access the support that they are entitled to.

Advocate for local children, young people and their families

Use available data (including State of Child Health) to articulate the needs of your local population, and make sure you give them a voice by advocating for their wellbeing to local decision makers and commissioners.

Take an active role in supporting child health research and data collection

Without high quality data, it is impossible to know how healthy your local population is nor persuasively argue for resources for children and young people in your area.

Professionals should remember that taking a full and active role in research and improving local data is a vital part of their work. The more clinicians use data, the better the data quality becomes, too.

Make child health a joyful place to work

There are simply not enough doctors, nurses or other professionals in the child health workforce to deliver high quality, equitable healthcare for all children and young people in the UK.

When we are all under increasing pressure to deliver more with less, it is easy to forget that each of us has a critical role to play in recruiting and retaining much needed colleagues to work in child health services – by creating an atmosphere in our workplace, every day, that celebrates the joy of working in child health.

Survive and thrive – how RCPCH is supporting paediatricians