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NHS reforms put vulnerable children at risk

The new system for organising services for vulnerable children is "confused and fragmented", according to the BBC.

The broadcaster said health leaders have expressed "deep unease" over the way vulnerable children in England will be cared for under a new NHS system.

The NHS Confederation told the BBC that a confused andfragmented service, which might fail needy children, is being created.

The group pointed out arrangements for youngsters in care and custody as well as those with mental health problems. But the confederation also said those with complex health needs and disabilities could be affected too.

The confederation represents managers, who said the changes being made risked undermining the progress made in recent years by councils and primary care trusts.

It said in the future up to five different parts of the NHS that could become involved in the delivery of this type of care. These include the NHS board, its regional offices, the GP-led clinical commissioning groups and Public Health England, a national body that will falls under the care of the Department of Health.

NHS Confederation deputy policy director Jo Webber told the BBC: "We have ample evidence from the past of what goes wrong when organisations are not co-ordinated to work together properly.

"There is deep unease in the NHS that, in reorganisingthe system, we are resetting to a model that is potentially riskier and certainly more fragmented."

A Department of Health spokesperson said guidance would be published on the issue soon.