How it works


It is recognised that the assessment of an acutely sick child is challenging and requires health care professionals to have the appropriate skills and competencies.

The original DVD of Spotting the Sick Child was developed to support health care professionals spot children with serious illness. Since its release in 2004 the DVD has been a great success and is still a popular seller in the medical education market.

Spotting the Sick Child 2, commissioned by the Department of Health in 2010, was developed as a collaboration between academics, clinicians, instructional designers and web developers to provide an online interactive and evidence based tool using real life clinical scenario’s and footage. The concept behind the 2nd edition was to expand upon the depth of material and better align the resource with recent changes in both medical training and technology to include:

  • An awareness of national guidelines
  • Internet accessibility incorporating streaming video and audio, learner interaction, personalised performance tracking, improved security and ease of use
  • Increased depth and scope of content
  • Increased clinical footage
  • Inclusion of CPD and self-assessment
  • Improved ease of use and navigation
  • Updated pedagogical format
  • Increased Interactivity

In this third edition of Spotting the Sick Child, commissioned by Health Education England in 2015 and produced in conjunction with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, we have enhanced the resource to include:

  • Learning Points to provide additional insights and complementary information for individual videos
  • Repurposing of all video content in high definition
  • Full accessibility on mobile platforms
  • A completely redesigned user interface and improved navigation

We hope you enjoy using Spotting the Sick Child 3 and find it a useful tool in your role as a healthcare professional. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions for this edition as well as any features you would like to see in edition 4.

The Spotting the Sick Child Team

My learning

The My Learning section provides you with quick access to the videos you last viewed, your Playlist as well as your account details in the Settings section.
A video can be added to your play list by clicking on the ‘Add to playlist’ button which you will see to the bottom right of each video when it is playing. Playlists are a great way to create a custom video collection for personal or teaching purposes.


Spotting the Sick Child contains over 8 hours of clinical video content primarily organised into ‘Symptoms’ sections. These sections are further divided into Key Background Information, Key Points in History, Key Points in Examination and Red Flags. In Spotting the Sick Child each individual video now includes its own progress wheel, allowing you to easily determine which videos and how much of a particular section you have viewed.

Below each video you will find Learning Points. These provide additional information and insights to accompany the video you are watching. It is well worth taking the time to view these as any recent changes in guidance will also be covered here.

Each video also has an accompanying audio transcript, which is located directly below the Learning Points.


This section provides a range of externally linked resources selected by the Spotting the Sick Child editorial team to provide further background information. These will be updated on a regular basis. If you have suggestions for inclusion in the resources section please contact us.

My waiting room

This section provides you with the opportunity to test your knowledge through answering multiple choice questions relating to clinical video cases. You will need to complete all activities in this section with at least an 80% pass rate to receive your Advanced CPD certificate.

Short cases provides you with the opportunity to answer specific questions on brief video cases. Short cases are available at three levels – Level 1 for non-medically qualified practitioners in mostly adult practice, Level 2 for doctors in non-paediatric practice and Level 3 for doctors and nurses in mainly paediatric practice. You only need to achieve 80% or more at a single level in order to be eligible for an Advanced Certificate, although you are more than welcome to attempt questions at any level.

Patient stories allows you to assess and make decisions on a child from arrival to diagnosis and to compare your decision to that made by the Spotting the Sick Child editorial team. Answers are given as free text responses and there is no formal marking or score.

The Final Test, which is only unlocked once you have more than 80% of the videos and Patient Stories, as well as getting more than 80% of the Short Case questions correct, is a final 10 question test. You will need to score more than 80% on this test in order to receive your Advanced CPD certificate. You can take the Final Test more than once.


Two certificates are available to Spotting the Sick Child users:

  • To receive a Standard certificate you must view at least 80% of all video material
  • To receive an Advanced certificate you must view at least 80% of all video, as well as scoring at least 80% on the Short Cases, Patient Stories and Final Test in the ‘My Waiting Room’ section

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