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Scott-Jupp et al. recent paper (Effects of consultant residence out-of-hours on acute paediatric admissions1) appeared relevant to myself as a junior doctor at the end of my training. I am interested to know whether there was learning from the resident consultant around discharge behaviour to better understand the differences?
There were approximately 40% of admissions that stayed less than 12 hours and this group were more likely to be discharged when a consultant was resident. There was no significant difference in discharge rates in children who stayed more than 12 hours1.
Should the less ill children be attending acute services anyway? Would a service consisting of resident consultants feed into propping up the acute pathway for less ill children?
A prospective observational study found up to 42.2% of ED presentations over a 14 day period were judged to have been totally avoidable if the family had had better health education2. Studies have previously looked at the appropriateness of paediatric OPD new referrals and suggest that at least 39% of them could be managed by primary care3.
I wonder whether the expansion of paediatric consultant posts due to increased ED attendance have unwittingly made secondary care reluctant to challenge the status quo of paediatric care delivery despite clear evidence that hospital is not always appropriate? If paediatric ED attendance starts to go down, would the current system become redundant? Other models...
I wonder whether the expansion of paediatric consultant posts due to increased ED attendance have unwittingly made secondary care reluctant to challenge the status quo of paediatric care delivery despite clear evidence that hospital is not always appropriate? If paediatric ED attendance starts to go down, would the current system become redundant? Other models of care such as GP hubs may be a more appropriate area in which to invest. They have already demonstrated high patient satisfaction3.
The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the way we work in many ways. In light of this, the paediatric profession has the opportunity to change our care delivery processes in a way that maximises the benefit for the child. I hope that secondary care can work more creatively with primary care, for example by running more joint clinics with GPs and developing links with community nursing/mental health teams. This will shift focus back to child centred paediatric care.
1. Scott-Jupp R, Carter E, Brown N. Effects of consultant residence out-of-hours on acute paediatric admissions. Arch Dis Child. Jul 2020;105(7):661-663. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2019-317553
2. Viner RM, Blackburn F, White F, et al. The impact of out-of-hospital models of care on paediatric emergency department presentations. Arch Dis Child. Feb 2018;103(2):128-136. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2017-313307
3. Montgomery-Taylor S, Watson M, Klaber R. Child Health General Practice Hubs: a service evaluation. Arch Dis Child. Apr 2016;101(4):333-7. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2015-308910