The role of the hospital in caring for children has changed beyond recognition in the past five decades. On the one hand, the conditions that were once responsible for most bed occupancy, such as respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis A, are now far less common and, when they occur, are managed at home in all but the most severe cases. On the other hand, advances in medicine and technology, coupled with better understanding of genetics, metabolic and neonatal medicine, new treatments for cancer and acute/chronic organ failure, advances in surgical techniques, and new ways of managing severe mental disorders, have created a need for services that did not previously exist (Wolfe et al., 2013). Consequently, the hospital continues to play a key role in the health care of children, albeit one that is rapidly adapting to the changing needs of sick foetuses, newborns, infants, children, and adolescents. Hospital services for children must also be able to work closely with other parts of the health system and beyond, reaching out to wider services for children including education, prevention, long-term outpatient care for children with rare diseases, and primary care out of normal hours. Yet a survey conducted in 2015 revealed great diversity in hospital services for children in the 53 countries of the World Health Organization’s European region (Ehrich, Namazova-Baranova & Pettoello-Mantovani, 2016).