William Eichler 11 May 2017

Two-thirds of paediatricians warn poverty impacts children’s health

Two-thirds of paediatricians warn poverty impacts children’s health image

Any new Government must tackle health inequalities or risk storing up health problems for future generations, paediatricians say as they warn of the impact of poverty on the health of children.

A survey of 250 paediatricians by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) revealed more than two-thirds said poverty and low income contribute ‘very much’ to the ill health of children they work with.

The latest figures show that more than one in four - nearly 4 million - children in the UK live in poverty. It is projected this could rise to 5 million by the end of the decade.

The RCPCH survey found housing problems or homelessness were a concern for two thirds of the respondents, and more than 60% said food insecurity contributed to the ill health amongst children they treated.

About 40% reported having difficulty discharging a child in the last six months because of concerns about housing or food insecurity.

More than 50% of respondents said that financial stress and worry contribute ‘very much’ to the ill health of children they work with.

‘Poverty has a devastating effect on child health and this report makes disturbing reading,’ said Professor Russell Viner, officer for health promotion at the RCPCH.

‘The health impact on children living in poverty is significant – whether that’s increased likelihood of respiratory problems, mental ill-health or obesity - than children living in more affluent areas.

‘Worryingly, almost half of those surveyed feel the problem is getting worse, with the combination of increasing poverty, housing problems and cuts to services meaning more families are struggling.’

‘Day in, day out doctors see the damage rising poverty does to children’s health. Their disquiet comes through in the survey findings and should sound alarms for the next government,’ said Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group.

‘Low family incomes, inadequate housing and cuts to support services are jeopardising the health of our most vulnerable children.

‘We can and must do better to protect the well-being of future generations. Re-instating the UK’s poverty-reduction targets would be an obvious place to start.’

A perfect storm for care homes image

A perfect storm for care homes

Iain MacBeath, strategic director, health and wellbeing at Bradford City Council, looks at the challenges facing the adult social care sector.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Electrician

North West Leicestershire District Council
You could earn up to £31,173 per annum
You will be joining a busy team that carries out all types of maintenance and improvements across a diverse range of occupied and vacant properties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Executive Director People

Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Up to £167,000
As a truly corporate player, you will bring a strong track record of service improvement and transformation as well as... Bracknell, Berkshire
Recuriter: Bracknell Forest Borough Council

Community Alarms Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,903 - £24,491 pro rata
We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who possess a good working knowledge of the community alarm service including assessing and installing... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Qualified Social Workers within Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Occupational Therapists - Adult Services

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue