Emergency and urgent care - policy updates, commissioning and clinical guidelines

shutterstock_53959417 Skeleton WEB.jpgPolicy updates and publications relating to paediatric emergency and urgent care.

You can find out more about sub-specialty training in paediatric emergency medicine.

On this page:

Policy updates

Children and young people with complex medical needs

Developed by the Intercollegiate Committee for Standards for Children and Young People in Emergency Care Settings, this supplement is aimed at all healthcare professionals working in emergency care.  Relating to the Standards for Children and Young People in Emergency Care Settings (PDF, 601KB, 56 pages) published in 2012, the supplement provides five standards for the emergency care of children with complex or additional medical needs.

Children and young people with complex medical needs (PDF, 177KB, 4 pages)

Acute and emergency care - prescribing the remedy

Acute and emergency care - prescribing the remedy (PDF, 577KB, 6 pages) co-authored by the College of Emergency Medicine, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons sets out 13 recommendations for Government, national bodies, commissioners, providers, professional bodies and clinicians, to take forward at local and national levels. Implementing these measures will help build an urgent and emergency care system that is sustainable and resilient to cope with future service demands. 

Fire safety on intensive care and in operating theatres

Following a fire in 2011 in the ICU at Royal United Hospital Bath, two local consultant anaesthetists have produced a SALG Safety Notification, 'Fire on Intensive Care and in Theatre'.

This publication highlights the risks that may lead to a fire associated with oxygen cylinders and how to help prevent them.

Download the document

Standards for children and young people in emergency care settings, third edition 2012

Intercollegiate Emegency Standards 2012 COVER WEB.jpg

Developed by the Intercollegiate Committee for Standards for Children and Young People in Emergency Care Settings, this revised edition provides healthcare professionals, providers and service planners with measurable and auditable standards of care applicable to all urgent and emergency care settings in the UK. 

The 2012 edition reflects changes in the way care is delivered: there is a new chapter focusing on mental health and substance misuse and the document takes a 'pathway' approach to aid a multi-professional workforce. Most importantly, this edition shifts from making recommendations to setting standards, giving healthcare professionals the guidance they need to provide the best service for children and young people along the care pathway. 

Purchase the document

Download the document (PDF, 602KB, 56 pages)

Read the full press release

Right Care, Right Place, Right Time? 

This intercollegiate document aims to set clear standards and guidance for service planning and commissioning of U&EC services to patients 0-16 years, in a local pathway model.

Download this document (PDF, 128KB, 9 pages)

Commissioning paediatric emergency care

Emergency medicine operational handbook (The way ahead), College of Emergency Medicine, 2011

This guidance is for clinicians, managers and commissioners involved in the delivery of Emergency Medicine in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It replaces the previous guidance ‘The Way Ahead’ in December 2008. 

Download this document (PDF, 83 pages)

Guidance for commissioning integrated urgent and emergency care: a 'whole system' approach

Written by Dr Agnelo Fernandes, one of the Centre’s National Clinical Commissioning Champions and RCGP lead for urgent care, this publication outlines the requirements for good urgent and emergency care. It is a collaboration of a wide range of professionals from across urgent and emergency care and related fields, including public health, social services and the voluntary sector.

Download this document (PDF, 3.9MB, 86 pages)

Urgent and emergency care clinical audit toolkit,  RCGP, 2011

The Royal College of General Practitioners has launched a learning tool to support the quality of urgent and emergency care services for patients. It has been extensively piloted and will help provide a seamless approach to promote quality care across a range of NHS services.

Download this document (PDF, 3.5MB, 52 pages)

SSPAU WEB.jpg Short stay paediatric assessment units: advice for commissioners and providers, RCPCH 2009 

This report aims to inspire discussion about Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Units (SSPAUs) among NHS commissioners and providers of hospital paediatric care. It proposes that SSPAUs can improve the provision of safe emergency services for children and examines some possible models.

Download this document (PDF, 248KB, 20 pages)

Clinical guidelines and studies

Experience of parents and carers who need advice when a child has a fever, RCPCH and partners, 2010

In 2008, the Department of Health commissioned the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to conduct an exploratory study, using the NICE guideline, Feverish Illness in Children: Assessment and Initial management of children younger than five years as a framework.

Download the document (PDF, 1.7MB, 77 pages) 

Role of the Consultant Paediatrician with Subspecialty Training in PEM WEB.jpgRole of the consultant paediatrician with subspeciality training in paediatric emergency medicine, RCPCH 2008

This report by the the Intercollegiate Committee for Services for Children in Emergency Departments explores the role of paediatricians with subspecialty training in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, and makes recommendations for how their skills can be most effectively utilised.

Download the document (PDF, 465KB, 16 pages)

Focus on: Children and young people emergency and urgent care pathway, NHS III, 2008

This document looks at the emergency and urgent care pathway for children and young people with the most common illnesses and injuries.

Download the document (PDF, 2.2MB, 51 pages)

> See RCPCH-endorsed clinical guidelines in emergency medicine

Further resources

Children's Attendance at a Minor Injury/Illness Service (PDF, 9 pages) RCPCH, 2002 (This has now been superceded by the 2012 edition) - This sets out managerial, accountability and service considerations together with details of clinical network and staffing arrangements for ensuring that MIUs offer appropriate care for U16s which is integrated with the emergency services.

Services for Children in Emergency Departments (PDF, 539KB, 16 pages) RCPCH, 2007 (This has now been superceded by the 2012 edition)

Emergency care for children and young people in Scotland (2006)

Maximising Nursing Skills in Paediatric Emergency Departments (2010) (PDF, 738KB, 10 pages) produced in conjunction with the RCPCH, this RCN publication is for emergency department managers, lead consultants and lead nurses. It provides detailed guidance on competence development for nursing staff.

Emergency Care Framework for Children and Young People in Scotland (2006) (PDF, 564KB, 52 pages) outlines the Scottish vision for urgent care.

The acutely or critically sick or injured child in the district general hospital - a team response (2006) is a multi-College working group report outlining both overarching principles and more detailed recommendations for the urgent care of children.

Emergency Care Ten Years On : Reforming Emergency Care (2007) (PDF, 521KB, 4 pages) is a report from Sir George Alberti