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G283 An evolution in practice and understanding. 40 years of referrals to a Child Development Centre (CDC) Northampton General Hospital 1974–2014
  1. P Naganna,
  2. LM Kilbey,
  3. AN Williams
  1. Virtual Academic Unit, Child Development Centre, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK


This paper explores 40 years of Child Development Centre (CDC) activity with Northampton General Hospital being used as an illustrative case history.

The activity of the CDC at Northampton General Hospital predates the Court Report (1976) which is generally considered the foundation of the specialty of community paediatrics in the United Kingdom.1,2 The CDC at Northampton General Hospital, as far as we are aware is unique in having archival clinical data from throughout this period allowing a deeper perspective to be drawn.

This paper will explore and demonstrate the evolution of CDC practice and changing diagnostic outcomes in the context of the development of community paediatrics as a specialty. Within this context as a parallel contemporary theme, is the still ongoing profound revolution in the educational provision and expectations for children with special educational needs.

As the CDC has evolved, increasing numbers of pre-school assessments over 40 years reflect not only changing presentations and outcomes but increased awareness of behavioural and social communication disorders.

The presentation will conclude with a short film made about the CDC in 2004 by parents of children who have attended it.3

Acknowledgement We would like to thank those people who donated the original 1974–1999 material, but who declined authorship.


  1. Court D. Report of the Committee on Child Health Services ‘Fit for the future’. HMSO: London, 1976

  2. Ni Bhrolchain C. ‘Referral patterns to a District Child Development Centre: 25 years experience’. Public Health 2002;116:300–303

  3. Welcome to the Child Development Centre, Northampton General Hospital, Medical Illustration 2004

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