Facing the Future

Facing the Future provides a vision of how paediatric care can be delivered to provide a safe and sustainable, high quality service that meets the health needs of every child and young person.

On this page:

Revision of the Facing the Future Standards - 2014

Four years on from their original publication and in light of national health policy changes, changes to the way that healthcare professionals work and new research and evidence, the RCPCH is reviewing its Facing the Future standards.

The proposed changes to the standards have been considered by the RCPCH Council and we are now carrying out further consultation with RCPCH members and key stakeholders on the feasibility and impact of implementation of the revised standards.

The consultation was distributed both through RCPCH Regional Representatives (see here for your regional representative) and was also available for individual members to complete via SurveyMonkey. The consultation has now closed.

For further information please contact health.policy@rcpch.ac.uk

Back to Facing the Future - 2013 

BTFTF cover image final.JPGIn Facing the Future: A Review of Paediatric Services the College made a commitment to audit the 10 standards for acute paediatric care presented in the publication.

Back to Facing the Future, published in April 2013, finds:

  • Over three quarters (77%) of children see a paediatrician on middle or consultant grade rotas within four hours of admission - just under a quarter do not.
  • 88% of children or young people admitted to a paediatric department with an acute medical problem are seen by a consultant paediatrician (or equicalent) within the first 24 hours.
  • There is a disparity between care delivered during the day - just 11% (26% of self reported peak times) had a presence during the evening. During peak times at weekends consultant presence was just 6% (20% at self reported peak times).
  • Immediate telephone advice is not always available across some specialties - and arrangements are often informal.
  • There is a shortfall of staff across all rotas when measured against the Facing the Future standards.

To deal with the challenges facing the service, the College calls for urgent service reconfiguration. Paediatric services need to look at more innovative models of service provision, such as providing more care in the community, to deliver the best possbile care to children and young people.

Back to Facing the Future: Executive summary (PDF, 1.06MB, 6 pages)

Back to Facing the Future: An audit of standards for acute paediatric care (PDF, 1.95MB, 69 pages)

Facing the Future - 2011


Facing the Future: Standards for Paediatric Services

This document outlines 10 minimum standards for acute, general paediatric care. These standards are intended to support a safe and sustainable quality paediatric service for children and young people. Each standard is accompanied by an explanation of what the standard aims to achieve, and how the standard was agreed.

Facing the Future: Standards for Paediatric Services (PDF, 322KB, 13 pages)  



Facing the Future: A Review of Paediatric Services

This report models the potential implications of these standards for paediatric services in the UK. It maps the current acute service configuration in the UK, which inadequately serves the current and future needs of children and young people.

Facing the Future: A Review of Paediatric Services (PDF, 371KB, 50 pages)

Facing the Future proposes possible solutions to these problems, and imagines three possible scenarios for the configuration of inpatient units.

The workforce implications of these scenarios are also explored and concludes that in order to deliver safe and sustainable services the current UK consultant workforce needs to expand from 3,084 WTE consultants to between 4,488 and 4,853 WTE consultants depending on which reconfiguration model is adopted. It also recommends the increased involvement of children’s nurses and GP trainees in some aspects of care. 


For more information about any of the publications on this page, please email: facingthefuture@rcpch.ac.uk

RCPCH publications