Invited reviews: the first four years - evaluation 2012-2016

The RCPCH Invited Reviews service has been running since mid-2012 and has completed over 70 reviews. This report outlines the learning and findings from the first 60 reviews. It gives clinicians, managers and commissioners some ideas for 'quick wins' to improve their service or where help may be useful.

About our service

We provide a unique review service by bringing together clinical and policy expertise to work with local teams, so we can identify and resolve issues of concern.

Our work is underpinned by published evidence and standards, together with a practical understanding of how services work. We draw on the College's Health Policy, Clinical Standards & Quality Improvement and Workforce teams.

In the four years from 2012 to 2016 (the date of this report), over 75 RCPCH members were involved with reviews alongside lay representatives and nominees from other clinical disciplines.

Reviews are bespoke, depending upon the issue being examined, but broadly fall within six main categories:

  • acute service/reconfiguration
  • neonatal service
  • emergency and critical care
  • community paediatrics
  • individual reviews
  • service specific reviews.

We work uniquely alongside paediatricians, other medical and nursing Royal Colleges and regulators to ensure appropriate information sharing and consistency in approach.

Reviews can be initiated by managers, commissioners, clinical team members or through a network but always take place with the agreement of all parties involved including the Medical Director.

Emerging themes

Emerging themes from the reviews to date include tackling clinical resistance to change, the integration of primary and secondary pathways and problems with covering Tier 2 medical rotas. It is important that clinicians are fully involved in the development of new ways of working, they must be clear about the benefits for children, and they must have confidence in clinical leadership.

Most reviews have recommended greater engagement with children and young people, involving them and their families in the design and operational policies of paediatric services. The establishment and assurance of adequate networks to support arrangements for escalating the care of very sick children must be prioritised.

Over three quarters of reviews received positive feedback with evidence of action planning and change occurring following the RCPCH’s involvement. The Invited Reviews team are committed to developing our pool of reviewers with evidenced competencies and skills and further strengthening the branding and reach of reviews so they continue to contribute to practical improvement in children’s health in the UK.

You can download our full report below.

[Related content:

  • About the Invited Reviews service
  • Examples of how we've made a difference in our Invited Reviews service]