Barnardo's has issued a statement about the Health and Care Bill having its second reading in the House of Commons.
Rukshana Kapasi, Barnardo’s Director of Health, said:
"Children living in England’s most deprived communities face poorer health outcomes than their wealthier peers. So the Health and Care Bill is a unique and timely opportunity to tackle health inequalities for children and young people and improve integration of health and social care services for all.
"However, as drafted, the Bill primarily considers health and social care integration from the perspective of adult services. New integrated care systems must also prioritise infants, children and young people’s health. Barnardo’s is calling for the Bill to undergo a Child Impact Assessment to ensure it can deliver the joined up, holistic care and support services so many of our children desperately need.
"Barnardo’s is also calling for the Bill to include a duty to guarantee representation of voluntary and community sector organisations on integrated care partnerships, to share their expertise with NHS and local authority representatives.
"We also want a Better Care Fund to facilitate the integration of health and child social care services.
"These changes would help improve joint working between health and social care bodies, including charities, incentivise innovation, and achieve earlier intervention – before children reach crisis point. Ultimately, we believe they will deliver better outcomes for children."