Paediatric neurology - sub-specialty

A paediatric neurologist is a doctor who has knowledge and understanding of disorders of the nervous system that affect infants, children and young people. Find out more about this sub-specialty and its curriculum.

What makes a paediatric neurologist?

A paediatric neurologist needs to have expertise in conditions including:

  • the epilepsies
  • movement disorders
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • neuromuscular disorders
  • neurogenetic
  • inflammatory and demyelinating disorders
  • neonatal neurology
  • acquired brain injury and neurorehabilitation.

In addition, they have generic expertise in neuroimaging, molecular medicine and neurosurgical disorders. Some paediatric neurologists will subspecialise and work largely or exclusively in a particular field.

Paediatric neurologists are usually based in a regional neuroscience centre providing secondary and tertiary-level services, working in outpatient and hospital settings. In the acute setting, they manage a wide spectrum of disorders and provide shared care management of patients on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and the neonatal ICU (NICU), and of patients undergoing neurosurgery.

They provide specialist support to paediatric specialty colleagues, advising on the diagnosis and ongoing management of chronic and complex disease. Paediatric neurologists work particularly closely with neurodisability paediatricians, neurosurgeons, neurophysiologists, neuroradiologists and neurogeneticists.

RCPCH Progress curriculum

As of 1 August 2018, sub-specialty trainees use the RCPCH Progress Level 3 Generic syllabus alongside the RCPCH Progress Paediatric Neurology Syllabus which is available to download below.

Exceptions to this are those trainees who will CCT (certificate of completion of training) before 15 September 2019 - the 2010 curriculum is available to download below.

Sub-specialty learning outcomes

In addition to the generic learning outcomes for level three, paediatric neurology trainees must fulfil the requirements below:

  • Recognises, assesses and manages the full range of paediatric neurological conditions, including acute neurological disorders with common and uncommon presentations, anticipating possible pitfalls and complications, while recognising and managing high-risk situations.
  • Coordinates urgent and complex clinical management, including the provision of non-acute clinic services and ward-based neurogenetic, neuroradiological or neurophysiological multidisciplinary meetings; completes appropriate onward referrals and discharges; and communicates clearly with colleagues.
  • Promotes the neurological and developmental health of a child with a neurological disorder.
  • Assumes the role of paediatric neurological team leader and takes responsibility for this area of service.
  • Practises safe child neurology, including when prescribing medication, and initiates and completes a quality improvement project applicable to child neurology.
  • Keeps up-to-date and engages in, supports and stimulates research in child neurology.

Any queries, please contact progress@rcpch.ac.uk