Children and young people with complex medical needs

These children require specific medical management. These standards are aimed at all healthcare professionals working in emergency care.


  • Triage system to take into account complexity and additional medical needs when prioritising care – saves administrative and waiting times, minimises distress and provides a better patient experience.
  • Good communication must include referring to the child’s emergency care plan and preferred method of communication.
  • The needs of this group must be considered in department design and the environment, for example, appropriate toilets, weighing facilities, quiet areas, variable lighting and the use of distraction.
  • Where electronic alerts are available these must be used to signpost to relevant information, for example, emergency care plans or requirement for an early senior assessment.
  • Information about attendance to an emergency care setting should be shared with the relevant professionals involved with them (including the lead clinician and links with local specialist nurse and community nurse).

These standards should be viewed alongside the Facing the Future Standards for children and young people in emergency care settings (June 2018).