Winter pressures - our recommendations

We pledge to help our members be the voice for children in winter pressure plans across the whole system. Our recommendations and actions are based on our survey of members and their colleagues working in Emergency Departments (ED) that treat children across the UK.
image of patient trolley and professionals in hospital corridor

Our recommendations

  • Trusts and health boards must take a whole system approach to plan and mitigate for winter pressures in children’s emergency care settings. 
  • Trusts and health boards must ensure children are explicitly considered and included in hospital and community winter pressures plans.
  • Trusts and health boards must ensure that resources within children’s Emergency Departments should be excluded from adult surge policies and other processes which might lead to a compromise in the standard of care offered to children.
  • Commissioners and service planners must increase resources in the community as well as in children’s emergency care settings and paediatric inpatient services.
  • Service planners and health organisations must have a dedicated lead for children at executive or board level so that the needs of children are included in strategic decision making.
  • Trusts and health boards must ensure that emergency care settings are designed and provided to accommodate the needs of children and their parents/carers.

Our actions

  • We will develop and share tools and resources to help members plan for winter pressures.
  • We will gather and identify good practice examples that will be shared with members at the RCPCH Conference and exhibition and via this website.
  • We will support members to meet Facing the Future: Standards for children in emergency care by providing members with an audit toolkit to enable local monitoring and improvements.
  • We will continue to lobby key decision makers across the UK so that children are prioritised in healthcare planning and delivery.

Read the key messages and full survey results