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Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Part 2):732-4.

Community pediatrics: role of physicians and organizations.

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  • 1Department of Community Paediatrics, Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


This article focuses on the work of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) related to advocacy and the efforts of the RCPCH to influence the planning and provision of children's services. This should be considered in the context of the current UK government agenda. As the RCPCH agrees with the aims of this agenda, the challenge becomes how to influence the process of achieving them. In 1999 in a document, "Our Healthier Nation," the UK government clearly stated that it is committed to improving the health of the population, reducing inequalities, reducing social exclusion, and improving access and quality of health care while increasing responsiveness to local needs. This commitment of the UK government is important to children, as among the 11 to 12 million children in the country, there are 300,000 to 400,000 children in need, including 53,000 children who are in public care (usually placed in foster care), where the state has direct responsibility to ensure that they receive appropriate health care. These are children who may need support from social services or child care services in addition to health services. There also are 32,000 children on our child protection registers. Overall, approximately 4 million of our 11 million children are considered vulnerable for one reason or another.

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