constipationUrinary tract infection is a common bacterial infection in infants, children and young people. A urinary tract infection is defined by a combination of clinical features and the presence of bacteria in the urine. Around 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 30 boys will have had a urinary tract infection by the age of 16 years.

Making the diagnosis can be difficult because the presenting symptoms or signs (fever, irritability and vomiting) are non-specific and are commonly seen in many childhood viral illnesses, particularly in younger children. A severe infection can make a child extremely unwell and sometimes have serious consequences; even minor infections can be distressing. Repeated episodes of acute urinary tract infection are distressing to infants, children and young people, and their parents or carers.

Although most infants, children and young people recover promptly from a urinary tract infection and have no long-term complications, there is a small subgroup at risk of significant morbidity.

Prompt and accurate diagnosis of urinary tract infection is essential, and it is important to recognise and treat recurrent infection.

How this quality standard supports delivery of outcome frameworks
NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement. The quality standard, in conjunction with the guidance on which it is based, should contribute to the improvements outlined in the following outcomes framework published by the Department of Health:
- NHS Outcomes Framework 2013/14
- Improving outcomes and supporting transparency: a public health outcomes framework for England 2013–2016

To download a full copy of the standards visit