How families are seeing children's doctors quicker with Leeds Pudsey GP surgery trial

Another pioneering project being trialled is now breaking new ground when it comes to care for children.

Ragbir Thethy, consultant pediatrician at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who has been leading on the pilot in West Leeds.

The Child Family Hub, launched in September as a pilot in Pudsey, aims to improve access to specialist children’s doctors for families.​

Winter health series day one: Leeds A&E under pressure as doctors deal with thousands of extra patientsBased on a model developed by London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, it is already slashing the number of paediatric outpatient appointments at hospitals deemed “unnecessary”, according to latest figures.

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In a strategic approach, is has brought together GP practices in Pudsey to work with staff from schools and the city’s NHS trusts, creating a “hub”.

Ragbir Thethy, consultant pediatrician at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who has been leading on the pilot in West Leeds.

As well as boosting links between organisations, it has seen a consultant from Leeds Children’s Hospital carrying out clinics himself in the community - at Farsley’s West Leeds Family Practice - meaning families don’t need to travel unnecessarily to appointments and have earlier access to specialists.

When you should go to A&E and what happens at Leeds emergency departmentRagbir Thethy the first paediatric consultant from Leeds Teaching Hospitals to take part in the pilot, said the scheme had been a success.

“It’s about trying to work better and more connected in the community,” he said.

“It can be a stressful experience for patients to travel. By coming out, it is easier for them to get to us so it’s much more focused care in the community.

“The patients I would normally be seeing in the hospital, I’m now seeing in the clinic at the GP surgery.

“I can see the patient there and discharge them quicker to the GP because of that personal link with the doctor now.”

Flu jab: Everything you need to know about this year’s vaccinationDr Thethy said it was also cutting waiting times for patients who had been referred to see a specialist doctor.

“Previously, there would have been an average 12-week wait to see the paediatrician in hospital following a referral,” he said.

“Those patients can now see the consultant within one month - and GPs can get advice on their case within two days.”

As part of the trial, GPs are now able to get comprehensive email advice from hospital children’s doctors, quickly and easily, which was not previously available.

Following its success, two more hubs are now set to be rolled for Chapeltown and Harehills and Beeston and Middleton.

The Pudsey hub hosts a multidisciplinary monthly meeting, where staff from schools, the children’s hospital and GPs can talk about cases and raise concerns,.

Child and Family Champion volunteers are now also in place at surgeries taking part in the trial, who signpost people to services available to them.