State of Child Health 2020 report published

Date: 19th November 2020
Category: Health and health services, Mental health, Incorporation, Child poverty


The report compares available Scottish data for 2020 versus 2017 to monitor trends in child health outcomes. The report makes a range of policy recommendations to support Scottish Government in fulfilling its 2030 child poverty and childhood obesity targets.

The report highlights progress towards improving mental and physical health achieved since 2017. For example, the introduction of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, the passage of the Equal Protection from Assault Bill and the introduction of the Best Start Grants. However, the report highlights areas where further work is needed. It identifies the following priority areas for Scottish Government:

  • Reduce child health inequalities - data consistently shows that poverty and inequality impact a child’s whole life, affecting their education, housing and social environment and in turn impacting their health outcomes. The data within the report identifies a widening gap between the health of children from wealthy backgrounds versus children living in deprivation.
  • Prioritise public health, prevention and early intervention - not only can this support children and their families - it can also create economic savings for the NHS.
  • Build and strengthen local, cross-sector services to reflect local need.

Read the full report and recommendations here.