Implementation: What needs to be done?
Implementation of the ten points of the EACH Charter needs a new approach in the training of doctors and nurses involved in the care of sick children. They need to regard children and their families/ carers as a unit and accept children as equal partners in all areas of health care. Children must be treated with understanding and sensitivity and their developmental needs met. They must be cared for in an environment suited to their needs and by staff trained in children's care.
Institutions and individuals dedicated to the rights of children can help EACH by promoting the acceptance of the principles of the EACH Charter by health authorities and governments. This will ensure the best possible care for sick children.
Some of the goals of the EACH Charter are still not achieved in Europe. Goals such as:
- The right of children to have their parents with them in hospital is sometimes restricted and made subject to a particular age or illness of the child or to the social standing of the family.
- The special needs of adolescents in hospitals are often not sufficiently addressed.
- In the daily hospital routine little regard still is given to what we know today about the psychological, emotional and social needs of children of different ages and developmental stages, their origin or their social or cultural background.
- Pain control for children is still a neglected area.
- Guidance for staff on established practice for action when a sick child shows signs of abuse or maltreatment is often missing.
- Children are still being admitted to adult wards.
When implementing the Charter in all European countries it furthermore has to be considered that
- Health care is subject to varying economic conditions and constraints.
- Health services are organised differently from country to country.
We invite parents...
to provide or arrange to provide the support and care their children need.
We invite those in public office...
to create the framework within which the parents may become active in the care of their child in hospital.
We invite those involved in the care of sick children...
to get acquainted with the rights of children in hospital and to act in accordance with those rights.