ACE teamThe health of children and young people is determined by far more than healthcare

Household income, education, housing, stable and loving family life and a healthy environment all significantly influence young people’s health and life chances.

Children account for 23% (570,000) of the total West Yorkshire and Harrogate population.

Over recent years we have seen improvements across our area in school readiness and the number of 16-17 year olds in education, employment or training. But we know too many of our children and young people still live with poor emotional wellbeing /mental health, in poverty, experience physical health problems or unhealthy environments.

Our vision for our Children, Young People and Families Programme is:

  • To close the gap in health and well-being outcomes for all children and young people across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, irrespective of where they were born, where they live and go to school.
  • All children and young people will have the best start in life and the support and healthcare needed to enable them to be safe from harm and to enjoy healthy lifestyles, to do well in learning and have skills for life
  • The voice of the child and young person will be at the heart of everything we do.

To support us to achieve our vision we have seven priority areas of focus for our Programme:

  • Acute paediatrics (hospital services for children)
  • Best start in life and narrowing the obesity gap/healthy weight
  • Family resilience and early help
  • Complex needs and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Long term health conditions
  • Mental health, learning disabilities and autism
  • End of life care.

We are in the process of defining and agreeing our objectives and outcomes for a number of these priority areas to look at where we can work together to ensure children, young people and families get the right support at the right time and in the right place.

Many of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate priority programmes focus on children, young people and families and we are working in partnership with a number of programmes, including but not limited to the Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Programme, the Maternity Programme, the Improving Population Health Programme (tackling health inequalities), the Unpaid Carers Programme and Yorkshire and Humber networks to agree collective priorities.

By working together we are able to add value and improve the health and wellbeing for children and young people as well as future generations - one of the very reasons why this important programme exists.