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Nurses crucial to improving child health information

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There are “significant weaknesses and gaps” in the health information provided to children with long term conditions, a major report has warned.

The Children’s Health Information Matters report said there was a need to develop information for children that is “engaging, accessible, accurate and appropriate for their age”.

It is the result of a three year study led by Bangor and Cardiff universities for the National Institute for Health Research. Researchers reviewed the materials currently available and interviewed more than 150 children, parents and health professionals.

The study found that despite a growing number of children’s health information resources, there remained gaps in provision and wide variations in the quality and accuracy of that which was available.

The report said children wanted information resources to be “more realistic and meaningful”, and tailored to key points in their life, such as starting school or the transition to adulthood. It added: “Nurses and specialist nurses play a particularly crucial role in children’s health information.”

Royal College of Nursing children and young people’s adviser Fiona Smith said: “The importance of this study should not be underestimated.”

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