Facing the Future

'Facing the Future' is a bold programme of work for the College that considers current provision of care for children and young people, and offers possible solutions to service problems.

Facing the Future Together for Child Health

RCPCH is launching a new project called Facing the Future Together for Child Health to look across the urgent care pathway at how we can improve paediatric care and health outcomes for children and young people with acute illness.

The project will build on the Facing the Future standards, expanding them into care outside the hospital setting with the aim of ensuring that high-quality care is always provided from first contact and reducing unnecessary attendances at emergency departments and admissions to hospital.

For the purposes of this project, urgent care is defined as 'The delivery of ambulatory care in a facility dedicated to the delivery of healthcare outside the hospital emergency department.'

Survey of clinical directors

A survey will shortly be sent to all children's clinical directors across the UK - we would like to know what interventions by paediatricians and other child health specialists are already in use to improve outcomes for children and young people with acute illness presenting in the urgent care pathway.  Please complete this survey ASAP as it will provide vital evidence to inform the development of the standards.


Back to Facing the Future

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 and we have now completed that exercise. 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 publications

This suite of documents 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.

Back to Facing the Future: An audit of standards for acute paediatric care

Published in April 2013, this document reports on the audit of Facing the Future standards conducted in Summer/Autumn 2012. It provides recommendations for taking forward the findings of the audit, both by the College and paediatric service providers.

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: Standards for Paediatric Services 

Facing-the-Future-cover-pic-for-web.jpgPublished in December 2010, 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, published in April 2011, modelled the potential implications of these standards for paediatric services in the UK. The report 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-Futurreviewfulreport-cover.jpgFacing 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. 

The Health Policy team have written a useful summary of Facing the Future, outlining the modelling and standards described in the above documents.

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

For more service configuration updates and information click here.

RCPCH publications