By Lilian Anekwe
The RCGP is to submit plans to include paediatrics as part of compulsory general practice training, as it attempts to stave off attempts by specialists to dilute the core GP role in looking after children.
Its move comes after a review of paediatric services, published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) in April, proposed providing care at GP practices with advanced children’s nurse practitioners as a means of moving care out of hospitals while driving up standards.
The RCGP has already won concessions from the RCPCH, which has rowed back from earlier proposals to create a new cadre of GP paediatricians to cover middle-grade paediatric rotas and move much paediatric workload out of hospitals and into general practice.
RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada met with Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the RCPCH, last week, to formalise plans to include mandatory, dedicated training in paediatrics in its curriculum.
The proposals will be included as part of the college’s business case for extended GP training, which will be submitted to the Treasury later this year.
Dr David Hartley, a GP in York with a diploma in child health, said: ‘There’s no good evidence any failings in children’s care lie at the door of general practice, but paediatric GP training makes a lot of sense.’
Dr David Jones, a GP in Newcastle upon Tyne and a GP advisor on children’s service to NHS North of Tyne, said: ‘There’s been a gulf in opinion between GPs and paediatricians.’
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