Best Health For Children - What are we doing about the quality of child health services?

15 Oct 2002

Press ReleaseThis is the question that faced a national conference on children's health in Kilkenny on Tuesday and Wednesday 15th and 16th October hosted by Best Health for Children a programme of the Health Board's Executive Agency.The conference entitled "The Quality Connection: Getting Best Health for Children" provided an opportunity for Irish experts in child health to share and hear about local, national and international experiences. Professor Frank Oberklaid from University of Melbourne, a leading paediatrician and academic addressed the delegates who came from government departments, health boards and other agencies who promote the health and wellbeing and rights of children.Professor Oberklaid highlighted the place of research in improving quality in child health and Dr. Sean Denyer, Director of Best Health for Children called for the development of an Irish Centre for Child Health to ensure research and training opportunities in Ireland support a quality service. To date there has been an over reliance on research from other countries and the need for the development, promotion and learning from Irish research in advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children was emphasised at the Conference.In a quality health service for children, young people and children's voices are heard, parents have access to reliable information and the needs of more marginalised groups are addressed. These issues formed part of the debate.Dr Ailis Quinlan, Assistant Director of Best Health for Children addressed the conference on the latest developments on the screening of newborn babies for hearing difficulties. Dr Quinlan noted that "it is important that we have the opportunity to learn from innovations happening in each health board area. The conference will provide us with an opportunity to examine topics of interest such as health services for refugees and asylum seekers, metabolic screening and the development of a Q mark for adolescent health services."The work of Best Health for Children has been endorsed in the National Health Strategy representing "a co-ordinated approach to protect and promote children's health in partnership with parents and health professionals".For further information contact Best Health for Children:Email: