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Doctors call for child wellbeing to be election priority

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Ensuring that Britain’s children are leading healthy and active lifestyles should be a top priority for all parties in the forthcoming General Election.

That is the view of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), backed by a new ComRes poll in which 94 per cent of adults said children’s healthcare should be an important priority for the NHS.

Almost two thirds of the poll’s 2,118 respondents backed the reallocation of NHS budget for urgent and emergency care towards the prevention of illness by promoting active lifestyles and providing community care services, while a similar number supported the tightening of rules around the advertising of junk food.

The doctors warned that children’s health was in danger of ‘falling by the wayside’ due to the amount of initiatives being focused on the elderly. They added that the measures would make moral, economic and political sense and go on a long way to addressing Britain’s comparatively poor performance on such issues against its European neighbours.

“The UK has the worst child mortality rate in Western Europe, has the highest rate of childhood obesity and has an estimated 850,000 children and young people living with a serious mental health conditions,” said RCPCH president Dr Hilary Cass.

“These are figures that are going to see little improvement if bold policies are not put in place to directly address them. I call on the next government to listen to the facts and listen to the public – make child health a priority. Not only does it make strong moral sense, it makes economic and political sense too.”

The RCPCH has made a series of policy recommendations ahead of the next general election aimed at improving children's health. You view its Vision 2015 document, click here.

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Ensuring that Britain’s children are leading healthy and active lifestyles should be a top priority for all parties in the forthcoming General Election.
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Doctors say focusing on promoting healthy lifestyles from a young age makes economic and moral sense
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