RCPCH Ambassadors - supporting advocacy for children and young people locally and nationally in England

Ambassadors are volunteer RCPCH members who use their clinical expertise and local knowledge to help create positive change. They share local information with the College on whether and how health systems are meeting the needs of children and young people. And, they advocate for both children’s services and the child health workforce. Find out more about this exciting programme and how you might get involved.

Last modified
7 September 2023


The RCPCH Ambassadors programme was initiated in 2019 in response to concerns that the needs of children may be forgotten as the responsibility for service, workforce and financial planning responsibilities moved to Integrated Care Systems (ICS). The role of Ambassadors was to advocate for the needs of children and young people to be understood and prioritised within these emerging systems. 

More recently the College has been increasingly concerned about the deprioritisation of children in national policy. It has also become clear that pressure on members capacity has generally resulted in a reduction of the time available for volunteering activities.

We have, therefore, made some changes to this role: it is now more manageable and less time-consuming for volunteers, and it will effectively support the College's influencing to increase the profile of children's health services.

What do Ambassadors do? 

Ambassadors have two key roles:

  • Share information with the College. We send regular emails to ask for each Ambassador's on-the-ground, local experiences around a specific theme. The information we get from Ambassadors helps us build a picture of whether and how systems across England are meeting the needs of children and young people and how improvements and integration are happening locally. All of this informs our influencing work on a national basis with Government and policymakers.
  • Advocate for the integration and improvement of children’s services and for the child health workforce. We share emerging learning and good practice examples we get with all Ambassadors.This can be used by Ambassadors to support their advocacy where they work - whether it's in their health service, Trust or ICS.

RCPCH will share resources and tools to support Ambassadors to advocate for children in services and strategy development. For example, when a new strategy or long term plan comes out from NHSE, RCPCH will summarise what this means for children and the paediatric workforce, and set out what Ambassadors can do within their systems to highlight the needs of children and ensure there is parity of focus. This could also include sharing tools, sources of local and regional data, and case studies. 

There are no limits on the number of Ambassadors:

This role focuses on more localised advocacy and gathering information, and so we no longer have a limit on the number of Ambassadors in each ICS area. This means we can support as many members as possible to advocate from where they are. We also gain a more comprehensive perspective from across England so we can help improve child health locally and nationally.  

I'd like to become an RCPCH Ambassador - how do I apply?

We are recruiting for RCPCH Ambassadors across England. The opportunity to become an Ambassador is not limited to a particular number in each area, however, you would need to fulfill the eligibility criteria. You can find out more and apply here.  

For further information about RCPCH Ambassadors email ambassadors@rcpch.ac.uk.