Service standards and planning

Ringbinder file and glassesThe College recognises the importance of ensuring that services for children are designed to provide high-quality care as close to home as possible.

National health policy changes, changes to the way that doctors work and improvements in our understanding of disease mean that services need to adapt and respond to demands and needs.

Find details of the College's work to model the future configuration of paediatric services, plus relevant policy news and resources to help our members, health service managers and the wider public understand the issues and considerations for service configuration, monitoring and development.

Service standards produced by RCPCH

Facing the Future

Children and young people in secure settings - published 2013

High dependency care for children - published 2014

Emergency and urgent care - various updates

Outcome measures for acute paediatric services - in development


The Francis report into the tragic events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the subsequent Berwick review into patient safety serve as a reminder of the fundamental culture and values that sit at the heart of the NHS, and what can go wrong if key standards are not met; patients must receive high quality, safe care in every setting in the UK.

Reconfiguration of services has the potential to address the strains on the NHS. The College recommends:

  • fewer, larger units
  • more multidisciplinary teams delivering child healthcare outside the hospital
  • clear service standards
  • patient voices must be heard.

Position statement on reconfiguration (PDF, 4 pages) - published 2013 

Event resources - Managing change: reconfiguration for improvement (Feb 2014)

Programme (PDF, 40KB)


Reference list of useful documents (PDF, 214KB)

Event resources - Breaking the barriers to reconfiguration (May 2013)

Summary (PDF, 171KB, 3 pages)  


Health Policy Team