Child and Adolescent Health

,Children are a significant part of a GP’s clinical practice. About 600,000 are born in the UK each year. However, there is an increasing perception that GPs spend less time in looking after children. Also, significant numbers are still living in poverty and experience poor access to good healthcare.

The area of Adolescent Health for the College is led by the Adolescent Health Group, which works to promote improved standards of care for young people in primary care. Please find below a range of child and adolescent health resources.


GP's role in responding to child maltreatment (July 2014)

The RCGP, in collaboration with NSPCC, UCL Institute of Child Health and the University of Surrey have produced a report 'GP's role in responding to child maltreatment: time for a rethink? An overview of policy, practice and research'. Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of policy, practice guidance and research evidence, the report calls on governments and policy makers to rethink the role of GPs and maximise the potential of the crucial doctor-patient and doctor-child relationships to create a public health approach of early intervention to reduce child maltreatment.

GP's role in responding to child maltreatment [PDF]

Healthcare standards for children in secure settings

These standards are designed to ensure young people in secure settings receive the care they need to make a real difference to their health and life prospects. They reflect the views of young people closely involved in developing these standards and follow a young person's journey through a secure setting to aid multi-professional working. The standards were drawn up by a group of Royal Medical Colleges including the RCGP, led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and backed by the Youth Justice Board and UK Children's Commissioners.

Commissioning a good child health service (April 2013)

This newly published guide produced by the RCGP in collaboration with the RCN and RCPCH provides a guide for commissioners to answer the question 'How do you commission the best possible service for children?'.

Commissioning a good child health service [PDF]

Child health strategy

The RCGP Child Health Strategy was launched to protect the healthcare needs of children and young people and comprises a series of recommendations for ensuring that high standards of clinical training, continuing education and audit are developed and strengthened. 

RCGP Child Health Strategy 

Children's Outcomes Forum

RCGP strategic aims have been taken forward through the Department of Health (DH) Children's Outcomes Forum report, which was published in Summer 3023 and contains proposed measurable outcomes.

Children's Outcomes Forum report

Children and Young People in emergency care settings

Key Data on Adolescence on the excellent Association for Young People's Health (AYPH) website. Their key task is to improve access to information, resources, innovation and best practice on young people's health issues. They also have a snappy single page resource: Ten Reasons for Investing in Young People.

Chief Medical Officer's annual report 2012: Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays. Full report published in October 2013 on the health of children and young people in the UK.

Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum: Recommendations to improve children and young people's health results. The main report on the health of children and young people published in July 2012 and updates in June 2012, this government initiative was requested by the then Secretary of State to help develop a new strategy.

The cardiovascular health of young people with severe mental illness: Published in The Psychiatrist in 2012 this paper argues that if clinicians dismiss early weight gain and worrying UK public health trends for young people in general, when using antipsychotics in psychiatric treatment for their young patients, they may be inadvertently condoning a first critical step on a path towards physical health inequalities. 


The RCGP Child Safeguarding Toolkit

The latest edition of the Child Safeguarding Toolkit highlights contemporary risks to children and young people including increasing awareness of risks to children from outside the home such as child sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic abuse within teenage relationships, radicalisation and online abuse (these forms of abuse are referred to as ‘contextual safeguarding’ (Working Together, 2018). 

Safeguarding Children and Young People [PDF]

Quick Essentials for GPs [PDF]

Confidentiality and Young People Toolkit: Improving teenagers' uptake of sexual and other health advice  [PDF]

Co-ordinating care for disabled children and young people

'Contact A Family' provides information for GPs around co-ordinating care for disabled children and young people, their families and other carers.

The GP role in co-ordinating care for disabled children and young people [PDF]

Spotting the sick child

Spotting the sick child is an interactive website developed to help healthcare professionals assess the acutely sick child. 

Youth Mental Health

Youth Mental Health was an RCGP clinical priority and we have a range of resources to support you in this area.

Adolescent Health Group

The RCGP Adolescent Health Group (AHG) was established to promote improved standards of care for young people in primary care. The group has worked with government departments and other Colleges and organisations to raise the profile of adolescent health and to run courses and conferences, produce resources and provide support to general practice.

Primary Care Child Safeguarding Forum

The Primary Care Child Safeguarding Forum (PCCSF) is affiliated to the RCGP via the APCS. It is open to all GPs with an interest in safeguarding children and young people.

For any further information on the PCCSF please contact Dr Zoe Cameron, Chair:


Young people's health

The Association for Young People's health website offers information and resources to GPs.


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