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Community Paediatrics referral

Community Paediatrics referral


Making referrals

We cannot accept self-referrals from children and young people or parents/carers. Parents can approach a professional from the list below to request a referral:

  • Health service staff
  • GPs
  • School health nurses
  • Health visitors
  • Consultants
  • Paediatric therapists
  • Children and young people’s services
  • School Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo)

Specialist Community Paediatric Services

Specialist community paediatric services are available to children and young people where there are significant concerns about a child’s health, development or educational progress. The following general categories describe the needs for which children and young people can be referred for specialist assessment and treatment:

  • Significant concerns about general developmental progress or possible developmental disability – This may include associated severe vision or hearing impairment.
  • Impaired feeding– Only in children with developmental disability.
  • Impaired sleep– Only in children with developmental disability.
  • Epilepsy/possible seizures– Only in children already open to community paediatrics for developmental disability.
  • Impaired motor function– e.g. possible cerebral palsy, working with paediatric physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
  • Complex communication difficulties, including where autism spectrum disorder is suspected– Not isolated speech delay, working with speech and language therapists.
  • Concentration and attention difficulties– when affecting educational progress.
  • Learning difficulties restricting access to learning activities or participation in school – If educational psychology assessment of learning suggests medical assessment would be helpful (not specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia).
  • Prolonged absence from school on health grounds(>6 weeks).
  • Children experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect – child protection concerns should already have been reported to the statutory agencies.

Making a referral

The Single Point of Entry form must be completed for all referrals.  This should also be available as an EMIS template.

Please note that the ADHD pathway has been updated as part of as part of our service process review. See our ADHD referrals page for more details.

What to do if my situation changes while waiting for a referral

Over time the needs of a child and young person changes. If the difficulties have increased significantly and the young person now meets prioritisation criteria. Complete the Prioritisation Request Form and send to

Can I have a second opinion if I am not happy with the outcome of the assessment?

A second opinion is a review around the process of the assessment. This may be considered if a family or young person is concerned that the assessment was not conducted appropriately, or information provided at the time was not considered. Families should wait until they have received their assessment report before requesting a second opinion.

Do you need a second opinion:

Before asking for a second opinion, it is worth asking your clinical team to go over the assessment and the plan to explain anything you don’t understand. If you have concerns, do discuss this with them. Your assessment team will be happy to explain things and, in many cases, there may be no need for a second opinion.

Am I eligible for a second opinion:

The service will offer a second opinion for all children and young people, where there is information to suggest that the assessment process did not meet guidance.

Who can request a second opinion:

Second opinions can be requested by a young person or their parents/carers.

If you are requesting a second opinion for your child, this must be done with their consent if they are at an age and developmental level to provide this.

Second Opinion process:

All requests should be made directly to the child’s/young person’s consultant or clinician in charge of their care.

The second opinion process will involve a different clinician undertaking a clinical records review of the assessment and any interventions undertaken. This will include consideration of the following:

  • Did the assessing clinician have all the relevant information required to make the decision?
  • Was the consultation/assessment of adequate quality?
  • Was the outcome and plan communicated appropriately to the family/child?
  • If there are any identified concerns about the above, an alternative plan will be made to address these.

Following this review, you will receive written communication regarding the outcome and whether further actions need to be completed.

Further Requests:

If you feel that the above process does not address your concerns, you may request a second opinion with repeat assessment from another clinician. Here are the routes you can consider for this:

  • Further opinion through Sirona. This can be a re-referral through the Community Paediatric service referral pathway. This will be treated as a new referral and be subject to the same referral criteria and waiting times as other children being referred for new assessments.
  • You can discuss with your GP referral to an alternative NHS-funded provider, including out of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) region, for consideration.
  • You can consider a private provider assessment either by self-referral or via your GP. Please note that costs for private assessments are not usually covered by NHS funding and are not reimbursed by Sirona or your GP. Also note that funding for medication prescribed by private providers may not be covered by your GP or the NHS and Sirona care & health is unable to prescribe medication for children who are not under our care. You are advised to discuss costs and arrangements for any medication prescription with the private provider.