Policy news archive

The policy update archive gives a roundup of the key health policy articles, dated back to December 2010. 

Visit the RCPCH news pages for a full news archive

November 2011

  • RCPCH hosted a joint event with Best Beginnings and RLSLT to support and report on the progress of the 26 Local Authorities piloting the Payment by Results scheme for Children Centres. Click here to view Best Beginnings coverage of the event, including the key note address from Professor Sir Michael Marmot. 
  • NHS (England) Operating Framework: The Operating Framework was published on 24 November setting out the plans for 2012-3.  A useful summary by the NHS Confederation covers the key points.  2012 will be very much a transition year to the new operating models and it is crucial that locally and nationally we press for the design of the new organisations to properly consider and accommodate children's healthcare needs.

  • Children and young people’s health services: where next? Following on from September’s joint event with the NHS Confederation and OPM, two briefings will be published shortly on children’s health services in the light of recent NHS reforms, and on involving children and young people’s participation in their care. Expected publication date is early December. 

  • Integration: The Royal College of General Practitioners recently launched a consultation on integrating services. The RCPCH responded from a children’s health perspective. Contemporaneously the NHS Future Forum invited views on integration, which the College also produced a response to. The Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund are also embarking on a joint project on the topic.

October 2011

  • RCPCH submitted its amendments and briefing(PDF, 52KB, 4 pages) to Peers for the Committee Stage of the Health and Social Care Bill

September 2011

  • The Health and Social Care Bill is due to begin its scrutiny in the House of Lords on 11 October. RCPCH is working to ensure that the Bill is improved for children by briefing members of the Lords  alongside President Professor Terence Stephenson’s presence on the Future Forum. The Forum is continuing its work in raising concerns and recommendations regarding the NHS reforms.
  • “Positive for Youth” - The Department for Education is leading on a cross-government strategy for young people and consulted informally during summer 2011 on its early proposals. RCPCH responded to the health work stream of the with the attached briefing and the Health Policy team is continuing to liaise with Department of Health and Department for Education colleagues as the strategy is developed and implemented.  

August 2011

  • NHS Specialised Services have published a newsletter update on the public consultation for the Safe and Sustainable review of children’s congenital heart services in England. Click here to view an online version.


July 2011

  • The Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges (AOMRC) is working in collaboration with the NHS-Information Centre (IC) to make improvements to Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). This data is currently being used to populate quality indicators which are on display on the NHS Choices website. The Academy and IC is now seeking the views of frontline clinicians on the proposals and a short survey has been developed to this end.


    This is an opportunity to get involved and shape the future of hospital statistics. Your views are important, especially if you work in the community; please give a few minutes of your time to read the paper and add your views.

  • The Department of Health has published its response to the consultation on the Public Health White Paper, in the form of Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Update and way forward. It addresses a number of points raised by RCPH in our submission, in particular around the commissioning of children’s public health services. We are engaging with the DH to get further clarity on the details of their proposals.

  • The Green paper consultation on Special Educational Needs and Disability has closed, and RCPCH, together with BACD, BACCH and BPMHG submitted responses. We continue to work closely with both the Department of Health and the Department for Education in England to contribute to the pilot sites and support the development of policy and practice in taking forward the proposals.   
  • The Department for Education and the Department of Health jointly published Supporting Families in the Early Years the government’s approach to the ‘foundation years’, which they define as pregnancy to 5 years. It moots “a single integrated review” at around two years which would merge the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) health and development review with a written assessment that nurseries, pre-schools and childminders will now be required to complete. The government are also consulting on the revised Early Years Foundation Stage, which closes on 30 September 2011. To contribute to the College response, please email us.

June 2011

  • The RCPCH has responded to the NHS Future Forum. RCPCH President Terence Stephenson was a member of the Future Forum and the RCPCH is encouraged that the report acknowledges the concerns he raised about the extent to which the impact of the Bill on children’s health had not been reflected. Read the full press release, and a briefing on the key issues for child health.
  • Following the publication of the NHS Future Forum report, the DH published its response, and announced that parts of the Health and Social Care Bill would be recommitted. RCPCH submitted evidence to the Public Bill Committee which is examining elements of the Bill. Liz Kendall MP mentioned the College evidence in relation to involving children and young people in their healthcare during one of the Committee’s sessions
  • The RCPCH has published a position statement on breastfeeding, which outlines the College's policy in time for this year’s Breastfeeding Awareness week (19-25 June).

May 2011

  • The RCPCH has responded to the NHS Listening Exercise. Our response outlines the College's concerns about children and young people's health across the four workstreams that the exercise is looking at - choice and competition, accountability and patient involvement, education and training and advice and leadership.

  • The RCPCH responded to the Academy of Medical Royal College’s report on the benefits of consultant delivered care, which RCPCH President Terence Stephenson is chairing. The response is now available.
  • Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children, published her independent review of the Early Years Foundation Stage at the end of March. The College has produced a response which summarises the implications of her review for children's health and wellbeing.
  • In response to a diverse range of problems faced in delivering rural health services, the College has published Quality and Safety Standards for Small and Remote Units. Complementing the more generic precursor Facing the Future, these standards have been developed by a working group of paediatricians for use locally and to support NHS commissioners in the provision of safe local health services for children.  


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April 2011

  • The College recently published Facing the Future - A review of paediatric services 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 proposes possible solutions to these problems, and imagines three possible scenarios for the configuration of inpatient units.
  • The College has published its response to the Public Health White Paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People. The overall response can be read alongside responses to the subsidiary consultations on commissioning and funding and the public health outcomes framework.
  • Professor Terence Stephenson is on the NHS Future Forum, assembled as part of the listening exercises organised during the pause in the Health and Social Care Bill. The Forum convenes every two weeks, with the first meeting on 20 April. If you have any comments or concerns that you wish to convey about the Health and Social Care Bill, please email health.policy@rcpch.ac.uk.

March 2011

  • Dame Clare Tickell published her independent review of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The College has produced a response which summarises the implications of her review for children's health and wellbeing.
  • The Department of Health published a working document on GP consortia. The College has provided a summary of the document and outlines its remaining concerns here.
  • The College has responded to the GMC Review of Good Medical Practice (2006)  -   consultation response.

February 2011

  • Sir Michael Marmot, in conjunction with the London Health Observatory, published an update to last year's Fair Society, Healthy Lives. It provides a range of indicators for local authorities, including children achieving a good level of development at age 5 and young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs). Sir Michael commented: "The evidence is very clear: investing in pre-school years pays most dividends."
  • The Health and Social Care Bill has now passed its Second Reading and is now at Committee Stage.

 December 2010

  • A letter from Chief Executive of the NHS Sir David Nicholson provides further clarity on the NHS Commissioning Board's role in the new arrangements and relationship with emerging GP consortia. The ambition is to have the Board's executive team in place by October 2011.
  •  The NHS review Safe and Sustainable has recommended new quality standards and a reduction in the number of hospitals providing children's heart surgery from 11 to six or seven. RCPCH supports the need for surgery to be concentrated in fewer, bigger centres.
  •  Liberating the NHS: developing the healthcare workforce is a consultation document outlining the government's intentions in respect of training and developing the healthcare workforce. The consultation closes on 31st March 2011.
  •  NHS Outcomes Framework is the government's framework by which it will hold the NHS to account for the healthcare that is delivered. It incorporates the topics that the government will be proposing to NICE to develop as Quality Standards. At the same location is the government's official response to its consultation on Transparency in Outcomes.
  • Healthy Lives, Healthy People: transparency in outcomes, proposals for a public health outcomes framework is a consultation document outlining the government's proposals for a public health outcomes framework. It should be read alongside the Public Health White Paper (see below). The consultation closes on 31st March 2011.
  • Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health in England is the government's Public Health White Paper. It is out for consultation, and should be considered alongside the Public Health Outcomes Framework  proposals (see above). The consultation closes on 8th March 2010. A useful King's Fund analysis is available here.
  •  Liberating the NHS: Legislative framework and next steps is a government command paper that sets out how the NHS White Paper, Liberating the NHS, will be transitioned into legislation and practice. It represents the government's response to its consultation on the White Paper. The command paper has been published alongside the Operating Framework for 2011/12.
  • The Children Left Behind is a UNICEF report on child well-being and inequality in rich countries. It includes an analysis of health inequality.
  • The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults is a government commissioned report by Frank Field which explores the reasons why some children become trapped in poverty. It argues for better early years provision and for a new set of Life Chances Indicators.
  • The Department for Education has published the independent Review of the Office of the Children's Commissioner. It calls for the retention and strengthening of the Children's Commissioner, though arguing that the office needs to become more effective in its work.

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