RCPCH Invited Reviews Service - how a review can help and our processes

The Invited Reviews Service delivers clinically led peer reviews to healthcare organisations when they need independent, objective expert advice and external assurance on the clinical services and quality of care they provide.

Invited Reviews aim to provide a safe space for active listening, and supports and encourages all staff who are invited, to participate as a way of providing the perspectives of those involved in delivering care in the service concerned.

We explain in detail how an invited review can help your service, the different types of review we offer, and provide a summary of the review process.

You may like to start with our introduction to the RCPCH Invited Reviews Service (IRS) and principles of a review.

When and how can a review help

Requesting an invited review provides an effective way for healthcare organisations to proactively address issues and areas of concern it has identified in its paediatric services, to seek assurances on care provided, and identify scope for quality improvement.

Whilst each service may identify issues and scope for improvement in a range of areas, some themes which have been addressed as part of past invited review include consideration of:

  • Existing and proposed models of care
  • The safety, quality and effectiveness of services provided
  • Team working and communication within teams
  • Multi-disciplinary team working within the service and with the wider associated services
  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of patient pathways
  • Compliance with recognised standards/guidelines and benchmarking with other comparable services
  • Clinical audit and outcomes
  • Clinical governance processes
  • Specific potential safety concerns
  • Capacity and capability issues

Types of reviews we offer

The IRS is able to consider requests for service reviews and case note reviews, and, in some circumstances, will consider a combination to help address the terms of reference (TOR) for the review.

The Invited Reviews Programme Board (IRPB) consider requests received for an invited review from the information provided by the healthcare organisation. There are some circumstances when an invited review is considered by the IRPB as not appropriate at the time of the request. In such cases, reasons will be provided, and, where possible, information on other potential sources of support. More details on when such circumstances may arise are detailed in the Handbook for Healthcare Organisations.

Service review

Considers the quality and safety of current arrangements for service provision (i.e., pathways, team working, leadership and governance, planning and workforce) and provides recommendations for making and sustaining improvements.

Case note review

Analyses an agreed number of documented clinical records to provide an independent expert opinion on the management of these cases. Note: this type of review may be standalone or conducted alongside a service review.

The review process

The IRS is available to healthcare providers, commissioners and service planners across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Reviews can be conducted onsite, remotely via MS Teams videoconferencing or a hybrid of both, following discussion and agreement of what will be most effective at that time.

You can see a diagrammatic overview of the invited review process below or open in full screen:

Diagrammatic overview of the invited review process as a flowchart

Requests for an invited review

We are able to consider requests submitted on behalf of healthcare organisations by the Medical/Nursing Director or Chief Executive and may include requests submitted jointly with commissioners of the healthcare service for which the review is being requested.

To find out more about the IRS process, you can download from the bottom of this page our Handbook for healthcare organisations.

Submit an invited review request

Further information

For any questions or to request an initial confidential discussion about the IRS, please contact the IRS at invited.reviews@rcpch.ac.uk.