What is Paediatric Care Online?

Paediatric Care Online (PCO UK) is the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s (RCPCH) online decision support system designed for healthcare professionals who see children at the point of care.

Our primary aim is to improve the safety of child healthcare and transform how health professionals access vital medical information.

Launched in 2016, in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Institute of Health Visiting and the American Academy of Pediatrics, this digital resource provides immediate access to clinically assured information to inform decisions at point of care, together with a repository of supporting reference material and patient information. Find out more about our partners.

Available anytime, anywhere

PCO UK is available anytime, anywhere on desktop, tablet and smartphone devices and the powerful search function offers quick access to critical information utilising the latest semantic search technology.

Packed with top resources

PCO UK includes a range of clinical resources, including:

  • 115 Key Practice Point decision support tools covering the common signs and symptoms and critical care situations.
  • Public Health England's "Green Book" Immunisation against infectious disease in a fully indexed and searchable format.
  • The British National Formulary for Children covering the prescribing, dispensing, monitoring and administration of medicines to children.
  • The RCPCH Child Protection Companion covering all forms of abuse and the spectrum of paediatric involvement: from examination, to identification, to referral, to court.
  • Searchable by paediatric conditions and keywords, the Guideline Directory contains quick links to national clinical guidelines. All guidelines are either developed by NICE or SIGN or endorsed by RCPCH.
  • Links to patient and carer information and resources accredited by the Information Standard.
  • Links to resources and e-learning content for child health professionals to support and enhance their paediatric knowledge and practice.
  • Access to the US-based AAP Text Book of Pediatric Care with more than 3,000 pages of content and images. 

Our processes

Key Practice Points – KPP Decision Support Tools

Key Practice Points (KPP) are concise, easy-to-use decision support tools designed to assist healthcare professionals with diagnosis and treatment management at point of care.

From abdominal distension to wheezing, our topics offer clinically assured advice on 'red flag' signs and symptoms and referral pathways, incorporating guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) where available.

Development and review process

Each of our KPP topics has been through a rigorous development and review process. Our review panel comprises a range of clinical experts, including specialists from the RCPCH Paediatric Specialty Groups and Special Interest Groups (view full listhere), expert nurses, health visitors, general practitioners, pharmacists, paediatric trainees, and the wider RCPCH Clinical Standards Consultation Panel.

Meet the Paediatric Care Online Editorial Team who oversee development of these KPPs, and take a look at how the KPPs were developed with an explanation of our editorial process.


Content is updated on a regular cyclic basis in ensure it reflects the most up to date and accurate clinical content. We engage with RCPCH trainees and Paediatric Specialty Groups and Special Interest Groups where necessary.

About the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, often referred to as the RCPCH, is the professional body for paediatricians (doctors specialising in child health) in the United Kingdom. It is responsible for the postgraduate training of paediatricians and conducts the Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) exams. It also awards the Diploma in Child Health (DCH), which is taken by many doctors who plan a career in general practice.

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