Foundation of Child Health

Together we can plan sustainable service models, develop policy and research, and advocate for the wider health needs of children. At the same time we want to maintain control of the core professional functions of the college that form the lion’s share of the our work.”

– Hilary Cass, RCPCH Focus, Spring 2014 Newsletter

On the 5th March the RCPCH council voted by a clear majority to approve the next steps in the development of multi-disciplinary Foundation of Child Health within the RCPCH. Further details on the consultation and next steps can be found here.

With any change comes a concomitant fear. Is the status quo so bad? What happens if things get worse? What are we giving up? It is likely that the move towards a multi-professional body will raise eyebrows. Perhaps even some vitriol. Many members worked hard just to create the RCPCH, why would they want that work want to go waste?

This junior paediatrician, speaking here for myself rather than behalf of the Running Horse Group (although we are in agreement that the Foundation is a good thing) feels the concept of not moving in a direction that makes us multi-professional is almost absurd. I work on a daily basis with nurses, nurse practitioners, health care assistants and play specialists. I have also been part of a college structure which is bureaucratic, hierarchical and slow to react.

There will be much to be discussed on the Wednesday 9th April at the EGM. There is still debate to be had – so please do ask questions, raise queries, voice concerns. Without an open dialogue we very much run the risk of being a Royal College of Paediatrics and nothing else.

Comments very much welcome

Dr. Damian Roland


4 thoughts on “Foundation of Child Health

  1. At a junior level, moving towards a multi-disciplinary structure feels like a reflection of what goes on “in real life”. It’s only at management level that artificial divisions are introduced

  2. Thanks for a great post Damian. I too can understand some of the reservation about change that has been expressed by some senior paediatricians, but I don’t recognise the argument that ‘much of the work to establish a College will be lost’ if we open our doors to other professional colleagues through the Foundation. In many ways it is your stark warning about being a ‘Royal College of Paediatrics (or even Paediatricians)’ that I worry about most if we opt for the status quo. I am not sure that us paediatricians always know best?

    In some ways RCPCH has achieved much in the last 18 years that we should feel proud of (not least the brilliant decision to be called a Royal College of ‘Paediatrics and Child Health’). However, from other perspectives, despite the amazing energy, leadership and drive of a core group of College members and dedicated College staff, there are many aspects of child health, education and research where it has been cumbersome and slow to react, and has lacked the influence and impact that we all hoped it would have.

    I believe that we have to move forward in a vibrant multi-professional direction, and was reassured in reading the consultation, and through talking to colleagues I work with, as to how many other people feel that way. This is how we work and learn within each of our departments, and what our patients expect of us – it has to be our best chance to rekindle that focus on the future of child health. I believe that the move to establishing a Foundation of Child Health will really help us to do this.

    I too would really encourage everyone to have a good look at the proposals, have a careful read through the in depth consultation documents, and get involved with the discussions and debate.

    Bob Klaber

  3. […] be found here – this is a rare event and will have important implications for the college. This link has some of the previous thoughts of the […]

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