Humber and North Yorkshire leaders join together to address challenges faced by children and young people

Senior leaders from key sectors across Humber and North Yorkshire joined together last week to address some of the significant challenges faced by children and young people in the area.

Hosted by the Humber and North Yorkshire Health Care Partnership, the symposium focused on addressing health and developmental issues prevalent in the region and across the North of England. It also explored some of the innovative solutions and capabilities within the area to tackle these issues, including the ‘Child of the North’ initiative.

This event marked a significant milestone in the Partnership’s commitment to ensuring that every child receives the best possible start in life and that the next generation is healthier than the last. It provided a platform for regional leaders to highlight strategic imperatives and foster collaboration to tackle the challenges.

The symposium, the Partnership’s first, drew participation from representatives of businesses, local authorities, healthcare providers, and public health – all with the common goal of driving meaningful improvements for children and young people. Speakers were from a range of organisations including the University of York, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, and Bradford Education Alliance for Health Chances.

Sue Symington addresses Child of the North Symposium in the York Guildhall.

Sue Symington, Chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “Our Integrated Care System is committed to ensuring that every child in Humber and North Yorkshire enjoys a strong start in life. Our focus is on supporting families to create a safe, healthy childhood environment which raises aspirations, builds resilience, and enables children to grow, learn and thrive.

“The disparities in the experiences of children and young people growing up in the North, compared to other regions, are alarming. Joint working with partners from across Humber and North Yorkshire enables us to collectively address this inequality challenge together.

“Together we can make real change and deliver our vision for the people of Humber and North Yorkshire, which is to Start Well, Live Well, Age Well and Die Well.”

In the Humber and North Yorkshire region, more than 60,000 children are living in low-income families, and more than 200,000 people live in poverty. Those who live in areas with higher income deprivation are at a greater risk of experiencing various health conditions including severe mental illness, obesity, and diabetes.

The challenges and inequalities facing children were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It had a substantial impact on mental and physical health, education, and poses a longer-term threat to social mobility, with these effects disproportionately affecting the North of England.

The ‘Child of the North’ initiative is a joint collaboration between the N8 Research Group of universities and Health Equity North. The initiative seeks to connect policymakers and stakeholders to promote the uptake of evidence into government and organisational policies, improving the wellbeing of children and young people.

Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership is committed to ensuring everyone in the region lives longer, healthier lives – creating the conditions to enable and empower our people, communities and organisations to achieve change.

An integrated strategy has been produced to set out how the Partnership will address the health, social care and public health needs of the population in Humber and North Yorkshire.