0–18 years: guidance for all doctors

Suitability to work with children and young people


Children are not miniature adults. Good clinical care for children relies on specially trained clinical staff together with equipment, facilities and an environment appropriate to children’s needs. If you have children and young people as patients, you should make sure you have the appropriate training and experience in the clinical care of children in your speciality. You should take steps to make sure that, wherever possible, you and members of your team have access to the appropriate premises, equipment and other resources necessary to provide good care. If you also have adults as patients, you should audit separately the care you provide to children and young people.39 


If you are responsible for recruiting or employing people, or if you otherwise control who can work with children or young people in your care, you should make sure that their suitability is checked. NHS Employers (part of the NHS Confederation) issues advice on good employment practice, including pre- and post-employment, Criminal Records Bureau, alert notice, vetting and barring scheme and other checks.


You should follow the GMC’s guidance on raising concerns about patient safety40  if you have concerns that children or young people are, or may be, at risk of harm because of a colleague’s conduct, performance or health.


National Service Framework for children, young people and maternity services (Department of Health, 2004); Children’s surgery – a first class service (Royal College of Surgeons of England 2000); Common Core Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s Workforce (Children's Workforce Development Council, 2010).