The CHA network has been running for over a decade to support children’s health leaders and practitioners in coming together to improve access, quality experience of children’s hospital care.

In 2021-22, the Children’s Hospital Alliance was successful in bidding for a £20m grant in the national Accelerator programme. The Trusts worked together to help services recover after the Covid-19 pandemic, and became one of the most successful Accelerators nationally.

It became one of the highest performing Accelerators. Collectively, the participating trusts exceeded pre-Covid activity levels and provided care for 38,000 patients who might otherwise have carried on waiting. Working together in a completely different way through a structured central programme and by pooling resources, insight and knowledge towards a common purpose was hugely empowering for staff. Not only were they able to see to see more patients – but also to drive through innovations and service improvements that have had a lasting legacy. Read more about the impact of the programme here.

This work was recognised at the HSJ Awards, scooping the Performance Recovery category: (HSJ Awards 2022: Performance Recovery Award | HSJ Awards | Health Service Journal.)

When the recovery funding was discontinued for the new financial year (2022-23), trust leadership teams committed to continue to self-fund the PMO to maintain momentum on the various workstreams and to realise the potential of this new collaborative way of working.

Members connect at a quarterly meeting and a range of peer-to-peer groups – including for CEOs, Medical Directors, Nursing Directors, Research and Innovation experts, other allied health professionals and corporate leads. (See: Our networks)

The work we deliver together is run by a PMO team, shaped by our Operational Leaders’ Steering Group and Clinical Reference Group and advanced by a series of programme working groups. (See: Our team)

We also hold a quarterly meeting for all members to connect with our wider network of child health stakeholders, including NHS England & the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. (See: Our partners)


Across the CHA’s 13 trust, our members provide care to 3m patients across our catchment areas, including:

4.53m contacts to children and young people every year

  • 22.4% of children’s hospital activity nationally
  • 484,668 inpatient admissions – 61,792 of these are elective, and 192,364 are day case 
  • 3,379,098 outpatient attendances

With a total of 2,355 paediatric beds, 286 of which are intensive care beds – our members hold 78% of the country’s intensive care beds for paediatrics.


Every year, we provide the whole range of specialist and general acute paediatric care:

  • >20,000 episodes of inpatient oncology care;
  • >16,500 inpatient paediatric surgeries
  • >151,000 trauma and orthopaedic outpatient appointments
  • >106,500 general paediatrics outpatient appointments

Via our regional networks, almost every child in the country is able to access specialist care from one of our members.

22% of our contacts are with the most deprived decile of the population

(This varies by Trust, with Trusts in the North West serving a more deprived population.)

We have defined A&E attendances and subsequent emergency admissions as two separate contacts.

We have only included acute providers.

A conceptual image of teamwork - hands being place on top of one another


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