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Impact of outpatient appointments on school attendance
  1. Jasmine Chingono1,
  2. Dougal Hargreaves2,
  3. Mando Watson1,
  4. Robert Edward Klaber1,2
  1. 1 Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Edward Klaber, Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London W2 1NY, UK; bob.klaber{at}

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School is a central part of children’s lives. As a society, we recognise the value of education, equipping our future generations with the skills they need to thrive as adults. This is reflected in the significant pressure put on parents and carers to ensure attendance is kept to a maximum. However, it seems there is a different set of rules for healthcare, where somewhat outdated approaches to the provision of specialist care can result in competition between access to healthcare and time in the classroom.


The number of outpatient appointments with a main specialty of general paediatrics (code 420) in England for children aged 5–18 years was obtained from Hospital Episode Statistic data for financial year 2018/2019. …

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  • Twitter @mandowatson, @bobklaber

  • Contributors REK conceived the idea of the letter. The data analysis was undertaken by JC and REK. All four authors contributed to the synthesis of the key messages and the drafting and final approval of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.