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Paediatric and child health services must be protected from redeployment of staff and space in the future to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable and unwell children. Across the NHS, there was rapid reconfiguration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As children are rarely clinically affected by the disease, paediatric staff and services were often considered lower priority and therefore were reassigned to support the pandemic response. This was the right thing to do at the time. However, it is clear that children have disproportionately suffered during this period and they must now be prioritised.
Between April and July 2020, we collected weekly data from paediatric services about the impact of COVID-19 (see online supplemental material). Our study found that in this period, up to 10% of all paediatric staff were not available to work (eg, shielding). Up to 22% of junior paediatric medical staff (on the tier 1 rota) were redeployed to adult services, and up to 46% of …
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Contributors Each named author has substantially contributed to the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.