Paediatric Critical Care and Surgery in Children Review

NHS England launched a national review into paediatric critical care and specialised surgery in children in October 2016. The review specifically considered paediatric critical care, surgery in children, paediatric critical care transport and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), as well as related areas, such as the care of children with long-term ventilation needs.

The review has now concluded and work is progressing to roll out the networked model of care across the country.

The aims of the review were to ensure that services are sustainable and fit for the future, and to reduce any variation in the care being provided. Although there are distinct issues to address, there are also some common challenges and areas of overlap between the elements of the review.

Throughout the review, there has been engagement with a wide range of audiences, firstly to understand the issues and the case for change, and then to test out thinking on what a new model of care could look like, ensuring that key issues and concerns were captured at an early stage. Engagement continued as the proposals were developed, and is a crucial part of the review. The engagement process has been run by undertaking a series of events, webinars and site visits, and by participating in forums and clinical meetings.

The engagement has included children and young people, parents and carers, professional bodies, the third sector, providers, commissioners and a wide range of clinical staff. The review team also engaged with other work programmes being carried out by NHS England, and with existing Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) to inform the proposed new model of networked care.

To receive ongoing updates, please register as a stakeholder for the Paediatric Intensive Care and/or Specialised Surgery in Children Clinical Reference Groups (CRG).

An Expert Stakeholder Panel was been set up to support and give advice to the review. The group met regularly throughout the review and more information about the purpose of this group and its membership is available in the terms of reference.

Membership of the group includes:

  • Paediatric Intensive Care Society
  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Children’s Hospital Alliance
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Society: Acute Transport Group
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • National Clinical Directors for Children & Young People, and Heart Disease
  • Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Neonatal, Paediatric Intensive Care, and Specialised Surgery in Children Clinical Reference Groups
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network
  • National Parent Carer Forum
  • Congenital Committee, Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland
  • Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

In addition we have an ongoing Paediatric Stakeholder Forum made up of charities and patient groups representing families that rely on critical care who advise on our approach to involving people. If your group would like to be interested in joining our regular calls, please get in touch with the team at

The national team is now working closely with regions to consider how a networked approach could work at a local level, and worked with two co-production test sites in South Thames and Yorkshire and Humber. The outputs from this work will be shared and used to inform work taking place across the country. We are also continuing to engage with professional bodies and their members.

Find out more about the developing South Thames Paediatric Network by reading a blog from the Network Manager, Harriet Ward.

Hear more about the important work the Yorkshire and Humber Network have done to better co-ordinate winter pressures in Karen Perring’s blog.

Read about the need for surgical teams to work together to ensure children can access timely care, as close to home in possible in Dr Richard Stewart’s blog.

You can also read some of the original blogs from our clinical leads, Dr Peter Wilson and Dr Gale Pearson setting out why a review into these services was undertaken.

Further detail on the review can be found in our frequently asked questions.