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What makes general practitioners do child health surveillance?
  1. M Glickman,
  2. S Gillam,
  3. G Boyle,
  4. C Woodroffe
  1. Wolfson Child Health Monitoring Unit, Institute of Child Health, London.


    The contribution of different general practitioner characteristics, views, and experiences to the likelihood of their providing child health surveillance (CHS) was determined and their perceived training needs discovered. Family health service authority administrative data on the study population was combined with a postal questionnaire survey. Subjects were all general practitioners in three district health authorities in the North West Thames region. There were striking differences between districts in the proportion of practitioners undertaking CHS. General practitioners with paediatric training were three times more likely to do CHS. Women doctors were twice as likely to do CHS as men. The personal views of general practitioners were significantly associated with whether or not they undertook CHS. The CHS fee did not appear to be the major motivating factor. There was considerable demand for further training. The proportion of general practitioners undertaking CHS is likely to increase with the proportion of women and vocationally trained doctors. More local training is wanted, both by general practitioners already doing CHS and by those who would like to do it. Health authorities need to ensure that such training is convenient and continuing.

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