[Skip to content]


Paediatrics and child health

Children and young people have different healthcare needs to those of adults. Most children receive safe treatment from the NHS, but some are exposed to preventable adverse events. Analysis of the Reporting and Learning System has shown that during the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009, 46,555 patient safety incidents (4.7 per cent of all reported incidents) related to the care of children.


The National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) is working to ensure the safety of children and young people in the NHS by providing advice and guidance to healthcare staff. The NRLS report Review of patient safety for children and young people, published in June 2009, highlights some of the key patient safety issues for children, young people and their families; outlines current NRLS partnership work streams; and identifies key actions for stakeholders.


Other initiatives for improving patient safety for children include:


  • a web-based e-learning resource for A&E staff to assist in the recognition and management of mental health problems in young people (to join the pilot study contact Dr Nic Blackwell).

  • the Matching Michigan patient safety initiative to reduce central venous catheter-associate bloodstream infections (CABSIs).


The NPSA (of which the NRLS is a division) has also endorsed a number of key patient safety resources for children. These include Spotting the Sick Child and the Paediatric Trigger Tool.


All NRLS resources relating to paediatrics and child health are listed below.