Written by Joia de Sa, Specialist Registrar in Paediatrics, Lambeth & Southwark Public Health and BACAPH executive committee member

This blog outlines the second Learning Together Child Public Health day held on the 19th May – including top tips and what to do differently next time! Twitter highlights can be found at #LTchildhealth

The second Learning Together Child Public Health day was held on the 19th May 2015 for GP, paediatric and public health trainees.  Nearly 100 trainees attended, with a fairly even mix between the specialties.  There were colour-coded name badges– yellow for public health, red for GP and blue for paediatrics.

Top tip: It was great that this event was free as this encouraged attendance from all specialties.

The day was kicked off by the Heads of School for Public Health and Paediatrics and the GP Fellow in Medical Education who did a brilliant, interactive presentation reminding us that child health is everybody’s business and discussed a case study highlighting the importance of cross-specialty working.  Next was Jacqui Cornish, National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and the Transition to Adulthood who gave a fabulous presentation on her role and challenges to the NHS with the UK having some of the worst child health outcomes in Europe.  She challenged us to ‘commit to build strong children rather than repairing broken men’.

Top tip: If you want to get good keynote speakers, start planning early as their calendars get booked up way in advance!

The theme for the day was Child Public Health through the lifecourse and Claire Lemer gave us an overview of the Chief Medical Officer Report of 2012 that followed this concept. The Knee High Design Challenge project took the early years slot – and inspired us to think in creative ways about early years. There were installations and mini-workshops by each of the 3 finalists – Pop Up Parks, Creative Homes and the Kids Connect app. Helen Cameron from the Islington School Improvement Service then gave us her perspective on school years. Finally, we had a session on adolescence by the academic Dougal Hargreaves from the Institute of Child Health.

Top tip: We tried to cater to the wide audience and mix of knowledge between the different trainees and hoped that the lifecourse approach would mean relevant issues for all specialties were covered.

We then moved into the workshop slots. The first ‘slot’ focused on service design with workshops on integrated child health, creating services for adolescents and the mental health of looked after children. The second ‘slot’ focused on issues in child public health and included workshops on oral health, the Family Nurse Partnership and poverty and inequality.

Do differently next time: We were keen for the day to have an interactive element throughout and this worked well in the morning with trainees talking to each other about the case study, interacting in the mini-workshop and tweeting. It would have been good to have a session where participants had a chance to interact and learn about each other’s specialties more – perhaps through discussing an extended case study in groups? A plan for next year!

Finally we came back together for a final keynote speech by Anne Longfield, the newly appointed Children’s Commissioner for England who reminded us of the importance of hearing children and young people’s voices. She was followed by Thines Ganeshamoorthy from the RCPCH Youth Advisory Panel who gave some touching examples of his care through different services and shared his top tips for trainees.

Do differently next time:Though it was great that we included Thines as our final speaker, it would have been excellent to have children and young people’s input throughout the day, though this might not be possible during school time.

We then had a linked event with watchtalkthink (@watchtalkthink) – a screening of Clio Barnard’s powerful film the Selfish Giant at the Foundling Museum. This was followed by a panel discussion. It was a great way to carry over some of the themes of the day into an evening event and remind us of the reality that some children in England are living through.

Many thanks to the London Schools of Paediatrics, Public Health and General Practice for allowing us to host the day. Thanks also to Mando Watson for supporting us to organise the day. Thanks to our excellent speakers and workshop facilitators too! And thanks to everyone who came along – we really hope that you found it useful.

Finally a big thank you to the rest of the organising team – it wouldn’t have been possible without a lot of hard work from all! Thanks to Catherine Sikorski (paediatrics), Kerry Lonergan (public health), Leonora Weil( public health) and Veline L’Esperance (GP).

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