We need a transformation in how Government approaches child health

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Jan) urged Scottish Ministers to act on the recommendations of a major report which concludes that 400 Scottish child deaths each year are potentially avoidable.

The State of Child Health report by the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health says the Scottish Government should adopt a ‘child health in all policies’ approach to decision making.

It urges support for families through financial inclusion services, like Glasgow's Healthier Wealthier Children scheme which Green MSPs have persuaded Scottish Ministers to roll out across the country.

It calls for all schools to deliver comprehensive sex and relationships education, an issue being pursued in Parliament by Green education spokesperson Ross Greer.

And it calls for 20 mph speed limits in built up areas to create safe places for children to walk, cycle and play, an issue being pursued in Parliament by Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell.

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“The link between poverty and poor health is well established and this shocking report shows we need a transformation in how Government approaches the issue. Four hundred preventable child deaths each year must prompt serious action.

“Green MSPs have been pushing for an anti-poverty budget from Scottish Ministers, and we’ve already secured a guarantee that Glasgow’s Healthier Wealthier Children project, which boosts incomes for vulnerable families, will be rolled out across Scotland. We need to see other interventions such as an allowance for young carers, promotion of the Living Wage to stop in-work poverty, and a more humane approach to social security. 

“We also need to see a shift in spending to make it easy to be active every day. The lack of funding for walking and cycling while motorways and air travel are set to benefit, and the deep cuts planned to sports agencies and council services, show that Scottish Ministers haven’t grasped how serious the situation is.”


A copy of the report will be available to download on Thursday here.