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Priority for disabled children

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The government has prioritised support for disabled children as it published a master plan to improve young people’s health services.

The government has prioritised support for disabled children as it published a master plan to improve young people’s health services.

The Department for Children, Schools & Families and Department of Health’s joint strategy Healthy Lives, Brighter Future set out what services children and their families can expect from birth to the age of 19.

It includes£340m of support for children with disabilities.

Money will be invested in palliative and end of life services, short breaks, community equipment and wheelchair services through community children’s nursing services.

The government also prioritised more health visitors, a strengthened role for Sure Start centres, expansion of family nurse partnerships to support first time mothers at 70 sites by 2011.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said: "Our aim is to provide mothers and fathers with the support that they need to give their children a healthy start in life and to help young people to make healthy choices. Investing in children's health from the early years through childhood and adolescence will benefit children, families, society and the NHS."

Children’s secretary Ed Balls said: "With schools, GP practices, hospitals, Sure Start children's centres, the voluntary sector and government all playing their part in helping to establish good habits in childhood, this will provide the basis for lifelong health, happiness and wellbeing for every child in the country."

In response to the strategy, Clare Tickell, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “We are concerned that groups of vulnerable children and young people, such as those in the care system, suffer worse mental health than their peers and their individual needs must be met by this strategy.

“The success of this strategy should be measured against how it improves outcomes for the most vulnerable children.”

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