Scotland: avoidable child death rate overtakes rest of the UK

11 April 2019

The number of avoidable deaths among children and young people are higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In 2017, Scotland’s avoidable mortality rate among 0 to 19-year-olds was highest (19 per 100,000) – above Northern Ireland (18.1 per 100,000) – across the UK countries.

And while mortality rates have fluctuated each year, there have been no statistically significant improvements since 2014.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said: ‘With over a third (34%) of [all UK 0 to 19] deaths classed as avoidable in 2017 and little improvement shown since 2014, these latest statistics paint a worrying picture.’

He added: ‘The Scottish Government is certainly moving in the right direction following the announcement of a series of commitments aimed at tackling child poverty and obesity.

‘However, despite recommending a Scotland-wide child death review process to be implemented over four years ago, this is yet to actually be established.’

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