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Paediatric plans would not strip GPs of child role

I am writing regarding your recent article published in response to Healthcare for London's guide Meeting the Health Needs of Children and Young People ('GPs to lose lead role in paediatric care').

Your interpretation of this guide does not reflect our intentions.

There is no plan to usurp the very important gatekeeping role of GPs. Rather, the aim is to make it more secure. GPs will remain the first port of call for the vast majority of children in primary care.

The guide proposes that the new breed of paediatrician works across acute and primary care.

GPs would retain their lead role and access to these paediatricians would on the whole be through referral. If anything, GPs would be getting an enhanced role through GP-led unscheduled care services at hospitals and within polyclinics seven days a week.

Although GPs gain much experience of paediatric practice in primary care, many do not have the benefit of initial training in specialist centres and we are keen that they acquire this as a framework for their future practice. The respective royal colleges are addressing this.

From Dr Andy Mitchell, director of clinical advisory, quality and health analytics, Commissioning Support for London

In theory, a specialist GP network for paediatric care is a really good idea. Children are not little adults - treating children is almost like treating a different species. In my experience, as a former consultant paediatrician and now as a GPSI in paediatrics, primary care paediatrics is delivered poorly.

But in the real world, just how many GPs are available who have sufficient training or experience to deliver a proper paediatric network?

From Dr John Oakley, Sutton Coldfield

Paediatric plans would not strip GPs of child role

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