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A new model to deliver scheduled outpatient care
  1. Tiffany Martin1,
  2. Sandra Hapca1,
  3. Nikita Mistry1,
  4. Ruqayyah Steel1,
  5. Yi Tse1,
  6. Thomas Lumsden1,
  7. Adrian Crofton2,
  8. Stephen W Turner1,3
  1. 1 Child Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  2. 2 Torry Medical Practice, Aberdeen, UK
  3. 3 Division of Women and Children, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephen W Turner, Child Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, UK; s.w.turner{at}


Here we describe an integrated model for scheduled care (the ‘cluster clinic’). Following a pilot in April 2018, cluster clinics were established across Aberdeen City from April 2019 but not the area surrounding Aberdeen (ie, Aberdeenshire). There were 2360 referrals in 2017/2018 (pre-cluster clinic), and 2615 in 2019/2020 (post-Aberdeen City cluster clinics). The proportions of referrals from City practices seen pre-cluster and post-cluster were 72% and 56%, respectively, and from Shire practices the corresponding proportions were 70% and 65%. The cluster clinic received positive feedback from parents and referring clinicians and was not associated with increased ‘missed diagnoses’ compared with business as usual clinic. The cluster clinic model is a realistic and effective method to deliver integrated scheduled care for children.

  • child health services
  • healthcare economics and organisations

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Data are available upon reasonable request. Data are available on request to

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Data are available on request to

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  • Contributors SWT and AC made substantial contributions to the concept and design of the work. The remaining authors each made substantial contributions to the analysis of data. All authors approved the submitted version of the manuscript. SWT drafted the first version of the manuscript and is accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding This work was supported by funding from the Scottish Government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.