Parents in Health Care

Simons, Joan and Brown, Nicola (2017). Parents in Health Care. In Journal of Child Health Care Journal of Child Health Care (Online Special Collection), SAGE.



This special issue focusses on parents, their experiences in the health care system as well as their views. The topic is vast, as today’s health care delivery for children is centred around the child and family.

The recognition of the role of parents in children’s health care has come a long way since our understanding of the deleterious effects of children being separated from their parents during hospital admission. The impact of this awareness of the importance of parents for children is provided by Davies (2010), in an article marking the 50th anniversary of the Platt Report which was published in the United Kingdom in 1959. This review plots the progress that has been made in parents’ participation in the care of their child in hospital. At the time of the Platt Report parents were seen as an infection risk and were not encouraged to visit daily. Gradually, in the light of growing evidence that parents were not a risk, the influence of a behaviourist model receded and was replaced by a humanitarian approach. In the period after the Platt Report until the 1980s, there was a move from exclusion to toleration of parents, which in more recent times has moved to parents being present and participating in the care of their child in hospital. This really helpful historical review of how far we have come in relation to including parents in the care of their children is an ideal backdrop to the eight articles in this special issue that have focussed on parents and their perspectives on child health care.

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