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There is a well recognised need to shift a significant proportion of hospital-based care to the community,1 and a corresponding increase in out-of-hospital specialist presence is needed to facilitate this.2 Potentially avoidable paediatric hospital referrals indicate the need for further support for primary care health professionals,3 especially given that many have limited formal paediatric training.4
Connecting Care for Children (http://www.cc4c.imperial.nhs.uk), an integrated child health programme, brings specialist expertise and support into primary care. One component of the service is ‘open access’, which includes an email advice line for community health professionals to contact paediatricians for advice and guidance on patients presenting to primary care.
Email advice lines have been explored in other specialties, and in international rural paediatric settings.5 …