Aims Direct access within general practice to specialist advice from a paediatric consultant via a GP telephone hotline has shown to be effective in streamlining acute referrals, leading to more appropriate co-ordination of paediatric care. However, no evidence exists regarding paediatric trainees’ satisfaction and the impact a GP hotline has on their training. If referrals from general practice are redirected from the emergency department by consultants, it is predicted to ease the pressure on the paediatric registrar on-call, thereby allowing them to dedicate their time to taking referrals and offering advice to A and E, assessing and reviewing unwell children and participating in other training opportunities. This study aims to assess satisfaction among level- two paediatric trainees with the newly introduced GP hotline and to identify the impact it has on their training.
Methods A paediatric consultant-led GP hotline was piloted for four weeks. The hotline was accessible Monday to Friday, 12 pm to 2 pm. Phone calls from GPs were taken by the designated paediatric consultant on-call for the Emergency Department. Following this pilot, level-two paediatric trainees were surveyed regarding their views on the hotline.
Results Eight level-two paediatric trainees were surveyed. Prior to the pilot, 50% of trainees spent the majority of their time between 12 pm and 2 pm responding to GP referrals. Following the pilot, 50% of trainees felt the hotline had a positive impact on their ability to assess more patients and respond to A and E referrals due to the reduction in GP calls. 37.5% of trainees felt the hotline had a very strong impact on their chance to participate in other training opportunities, such as teaching medical students and attending departmental meetings during this time. 62.5% of trainees would like to see the time slot for the hotline increased. 87.5% of trainees would like to see the hotline continued permanently.
Conclusion Overall level-two trainees were in favour of the GP hotline and would like to see it implemented permanently. Anecdotally, paediatric level-two trainees felt the hotline could potentially have a positive impact on the time available for training opportunities following some minor adjustments which could include increasing the hotline hours.
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