In 1986, the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) was established as a joint venture of the British Paediatric Association (BPA), the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) of the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) and the Department of Epidemiology of the Institute of Child Health, London, to provide a method of nationwide surveillance of infectious or infection related conditions, and to promote research on rare childhood disorders. The BPSU facilitates rapid identification of problems, and a rapid response. By mid-2000, 40 studies had been completed within the framework of the BPSU. In 1992, similar systems were set up in Germany (ESPED) and the Netherlands. Further paediatric surveillance units were subsequently created in other countries including Switzerland, and the International Network of Paediatric Surveillance Units (INoPSU) was then established in 1998.