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Wednesday 7th December 2016
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Children should be put at centre of services

18th December 2008

Nigel Walker, senior commissioning advisor at the Department of Health world class commissioning programme, says put children at centre of services.

woman&childQ

In meeting the health needs of children and young people, seamless communication between countless organisations will be critical.

Young people and their parents consistently say this is what they want yet in practice, separate budgets, reporting structures and professional tribalism can make this difficult.

Organisations from social care, the PCT, housing, schools and the justice system need to join up and communicate to promote healthy development for children, despite different views on what outcomes they are striving for.

The key is in the skill and expertise of the commissioning.

In my view, this is more developed in children's services than for adults, in part because of the progress made liaising with the affected groups.

The best children's commissioners act as the link between the public and service providers and while the seamless nature of joint service provision can be hard to achieve, delivering services in a joined up way leads to better health outcomes and true interoperability.

In many areas there is still much work to be done but the announcement from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Health of joint sponsorship of a commissioning support programme designed to improve the commissioning of services by children's trust partners is welcome.

The implementation of the child health strategy will also clarify the roles of the bodies involved in health services for children and young people.

However, children's trust partners need to be up to the challenge.

 

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