Children and young people make up 21% of the population of England, 23% of accident and emergency department attendances and up to 30% of GP attendances.
Published June 2020
Infections are the most common reason for emergency hospital admissions in children. We look at how NICE recommendations on fever and infections in children can help make sure serious illness is identified and managed.
Asthma, diabetes and epilepsy account for 94% of all emergency admissions for children and young people under 19 with long-term conditions. We look at how well NICE’s guidance on managing these conditions is being put into practice.
Children and young people with a learning disability are more likely to have physical health problems. We look at whether they are receiving the appropriate health checks to address these health inequalities.
It’s important that young people are supported well during the move to using adults’ services. We look at how NICE recommendations on transition are being put into practice.
NICE is working with NHS England and medicine manufacturers to ensure that innovative medicines are available to children who could benefit from them.
This report highlights progress made by the health and care system in implementing NICE guidance. We recognise that change can sometimes be challenging and may require pathway reconfiguration. It may also require additional resources such as training and new equipment.
We work with partners including NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and other relevant organisations to support changes. We also look for opportunities to make savings by reducing ineffective practice.
Why focus on children's and young people's healthcare?
NICE impact reports review how NICE recommendations for evidence-based and cost-effective care are being used in priority areas of the health and care system, helping to improve outcomes where this is needed most.
Some of NICE’s earliest publications made recommendations about the care of children and young people, such as our guidelines on eating disorders and type 1 diabetes which were first published in 2004. Since then NICE has published an extensive suite of guidance and advice on children and young people, including 72 guidelines.
Many more of our products cover care for people of all ages. This means that over half of our 316 guidelines include recommendations which apply to children and young people.
The last decade has seen improvements in services such as maternity and neonatal care, which we reviewed in previous NICE impact reports, but there is more to do. The NHS Long Term Plan prioritises ensuring a strong start in life for children and young people.
Many of the commitments and ambitions laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan are underpinned by NICE guidance. In this report, we look at what we know about how some of these recommendations are being put into practice, and where there’s room for improvement.
The experiences of children and young people form part of our guidance development. Where possible, individual children and young people are involved directly in decision making, for example, as committee members or as patient experts. Further information on how we do this and how we ensure safeguarding for the young people concerned can be found in our involvement policy.
When discussing children and young people, this usually refers to people under the age of 18. However, there’s no agreed definition across the health and care system, and a fixed upper limit can be unhelpful, such as in transition to adults’ services. Therefore, some of the data and information that we’ve looked at in this report uses a different age range, such as under 19, or is about young adults up to the age of 25.