Child poverty and Brexit threaten improvements to children's health outcomes, says Nuffield Trust

Nigel Edwards responds to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's State of Child Health: Two years on report.

Press release

Published: 23/01/2019

Responding to the RCPCH’s State of Child Health: Two years on report, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“It is encouraging to see that, two years on from the RCPCH's seminal State of Child Health report, warnings have been heeded and children’s health is moving steadily up the political agenda.

“But our own research shows that we are still lagging behind most other high-income countries on key indicators like mortality, breastfeeding and obesity rates. England falls far short of its stated ambition to be an international leader in fostering a healthy start for children.

“Child poverty and Brexit are dark clouds that threaten to disrupt any improvements already seen. Persistent inequalities in health outcomes for the poorest children is a tragic theme that runs throughout our research and without fixing this, almost all of the good work will stall. In addition to the well reported threat to research funding, a hard or no-deal Brexit would cut UK scientists off from the cross-European groups that study rare and complex diseases – many of which affect the most sick and vulnerable children.”