Where is the voice of the child in weighing the cost of this pandemic?

Frontline paediatricians have written to the editor of the British Medical Journal, advocating for the rights and safeguarding of children 

“We call upon Government to move quickly and decisively to try and repair the harm suffered by young, vulnerable people during this pandemic. Failure to do so will come at a price too high.”

To read the full text of the letter, click below:

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1669/rr-5

Another interesting article in The Guardian

We should be overhauling the school system, not rushing to send children back

By Suzanne Moore on Monday 18th May, 2020.

“The emotional and social development of our children is paramount, not a rushed, unsafe return to constant invigilation.”

Click here to read the whole article:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/18/we-should-be-overhauling-the-school-system-not-rushing-to-send-children-back

Let us know your comments or thoughts …

The PMHA will be at the Royal College of Paediatrics conference (28th April)

A short post to say that the PMHA is going to be at the annual Royal College of Paediatrics meeting on Tuesday 28th April 2020.

The PMHA session is linked with the British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology (BAPA).

The theme of the PMHA / BAPA joint session is ‘difference and self’. Sound intriguing? Why not come along to find out more.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Assistant Officer for Mental Health on the RCPCH Health Improvement Committee

Below is a message from Dr Karen Street, MA (Oxon), BMBCh, MRCPCH, MScTLHP, who has recently been appointed the Assistant Officer for Mental Health on the RCPCH Health Improvement Committee and is a member of the PMHA Executive Committee:

I am the new Assistant Officer for Mental Health on the RCPCH Health Improvement Committee. I trained in Oxford, Sheffield and Bristol, and for the last 13 years have been a Consultant general paediatrician at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Throughout my very broad training (with a few detours to have my three children) I have always been interested in the overlap areas between community child health and acute paediatric hospital care, which over my Consultant career has developed more specifically into the overlap between physical and mental health. I believe in entirely joined up working with child and adolescent mental health professionals and over the last 10 years in Exeter, East and Mid Devon we have together established an eating disorder service which is cited as a good practise example in the commissioning guide ‘Access and waiting time standard for children and young people with an eating disorder’, a commissioner funded P3 (persistent, problematic, unexplained, physical symptoms) pilot, which has been presented at RCPCH and YPHSIG conferences, and we are now the first district general hospital in the southwest to have a paediatric liaison psychiatrist.

In the second half of my Consultant career I have changed my working pattern and applied for the college role in which I am excited to both learn and to bring my local experience to a national level. My aims are to promote the message that ‘mental health is our business’ in all areas of college work and to all college members, and to ensure that  mental health considerations are embedded into all aims, policies, guidance etc produced by the College.  An essential part of this is incorporating mental health into the training of future paediatricians  at medical school, foundation years and through our Progress curriculum and I hope that some of this can be achieved by developing  joint training initiatives with our CAMHS colleagues within the RCPsych.  In my role I will also be continually advocating for integrated physical/mental health services for children and young people in my interactions at strategic level and by producing an RCPCH position statement, and including it in the role of the new RCPCH ambassadors who will be working at STP/ICS level. 

I look forward to being a part of the Paediatric Mental Health Association Executive Committee.

Karen is coming to our next Highgate meeting in January 2020 and looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible

Take a look at the programme, if you haven’t already seen it. It promises to be a fantastic meeting! Please spread the word.