European child health services and systems. Lessons without borders

Edited by Ingrid Wolfe and Martin McKee
Published by Open University Press
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Series
2013, 320 pages
ISBN 978 03 352 6466 7
£29.99

In recent decades the health needs of children in Europe have changed. There is more chronic disease than ever before, and inequalities in health and well-being persist. Despite increasingly sophisticated technology, the delivery of care and organizational structures of healthcare services have not evolved sufficiently to meet these challenges.

Taking a purposefully child-centric view, this book aims to improve understanding of children's health services across Europe. Focusing on 10 western European countries, the book combines primary and secondary research on children's health services and wider child health systems.

Drawing extensively on literature reviews, government data, clinical case studies and a questionnaire distributed to child health leaders, the book identifies the common themes that are contributing to child health across the European landscape. It addresses such topics as:

  • primary care for children
  • services for long-term conditions and noncommunicable diseases
  • child public health
  • mental health and behavioural disorders
  • services for vulnerable and maltreated children.

This book shows that European countries face many common challenges in attempting to improve child health, and highlights the opportunities for learning from each other. It concludes with a strategy for improving the capacity of European health systems to drive improvements in health and equity. This book serves as a wake-up call to all those concerned with the well-being of Europe's children.