Community Paediatric Service

Information for parents and carers

Children & Young People’s Health Services

Your child has been referred to the Community Paediatric Service. We are a community based team of children’s doctors and nurses with specific training in child health and development. Your child will usually have been referred to us by your General Practitioner, Health Visitor, School Nurse or other health professional.

What do Community Paediatricians do?

We work with children and young people who:

  • Have a number of different health conditions, disabilities or complex medical needs. For these children and young people we provide medical care and work closely with other specialists to make sure that care is well co-ordinated.
  • Are experiencing developmental, learning or behavioural problems and may benefit from medical assessment and advice to help plan the best way forward.

We also:

  • Provide medical advice if children are assessed for an Education, Health and Care Plan (working with our specialist nurse).
  • Assess and manage the health needs of children who are placed in foster care or are going through the adoption process.
  • Work closely with many other health professionals for example physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and hospital specialists.
  • Have strong links with schools, education services, social care services and voluntary organisations to ensure that children and young people get access to all the help and support they need.
  • Run a separate service for children and young people with day and night wetting problems. This provides specialist advice, care, treatment and support.

Our aim is to help children and young people achieve their full potential by ensuring their long-term health needs are met. 

What do you need help with?

Finding the right service for your child….

It is important that you get to see the right person straight away to avoid any delay in your child getting the help they need.

Here are some of the issues that we can’t help with but which others can….

  • If your child has a health concern or medical condition - but no other needs - they will need to be seen by one of the children’s doctors at the hospital.
  • If you think your child needs to be assessed for Autism or ADHD, then this service is offered by the Rotherham Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
  • Help with anger management, anxiety, emotional needs and behavior is provided by the Early Help team or CAMHS
  • Support for Dyslexia or other learning needs is best discussed with your child’s school. You can ask your child’s GP for a referral to these services.

Where will my child be seen?

Your child will usually be seen in a local clinic. We do also have regular sessions in Rotherham’s special schools.

How long will the appointment last?

Your child’s first appointment will usually last about an hour.

What will happen during the assessment?

The doctor will:

  • Take background information from you about your child’s health and development and discuss any issues or concerns that you have. If your child is old enough, they will ask them for their views too. Please bring any relevant reports with you. This includes the red book for children under 5, and up to date information from school.
  • Measure your child’s height and weight and may give them a physical examination. Please don’t worry if your child is anxious or doesn’t want to do this. Our doctors are experienced in working with children and understand that this happens sometimes. They will talk with you about the best way forward.

Some older young people may be invited to see the doctor on their own to start off with, and then asked if they are happy for you to be part of the discussions.

If you feel that you might want to speak to us without your children present, please arrange for another adult to come with you so that your child can be supervised whilst you talk in private.

It is possible that there may be trainee doctors or nurses observing in clinic, so please let us know if you do not wish a student to be present

What will happen after the assessment?

  • We will write to your GP and will send you a copy of the letter.
  • The referrer, Health Visitor, School Nurse and any other relevant health professional will also receive copies.
  • We will send copies to other agencies, including school, if they are involved with your child and we have your permission.
  • Your child may be referred for tests e.g. blood tests, X-rays or scans. These will usually be arranged at Rotherham hospital or occasionally at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, depending on the type of investigation.
  • Your child may be referred for further assessment e.g. neurology, genetics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy etc. A copy of the clinic letter will usually accompany any referral.
  • We will talk with you and your child about whether we need to see you again.

What should I do if I have special requirements?

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any needs of your own that we should know about. For example, you may want to request an interpreter or find out about wheelchair access or parking. We will be happy to do everything we can to help.

We also have AccessAble accessibility guides on our website.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions or need to cancel or rebook an appointment, please contact the Community Paediatrics Admin Team on telephone 01709 426379 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Messages can be left on the answerphone outside of working hours.

It will help us greatly if you have your child’s NHS number to hand when you contact us.

The Community Paediatrics team are based at Rotherham Hospital.

Language, Interpretation and Patient Support Service (LIPS)

If you require an interpreter to assist at your child’s appointment please ask an appropriate family member to contact our Community Paediatrics Admin Team.

Help us to help you

It is important that your child’s records and contact details are up to date so that we can contact you. If you change your GP, address or telephone number, please contact us as soon as possible. Do please provide a mobile number where possible.

It is essential that you carefully read all enclosed documentation paying particular attention to the date, time and location of your appointment.

If a child is not brought for an appointment, this may risk their health and delay important diagnosis and treatment. Missed appointments cost the Trust a lot of money.

It is important that you keep your child’s appointment or let us know if you cannot attend, so that the appointment can be given to another child. Missed appointments put children at risk.

Help to reduce wasted outpatient appointments by contacting our Admin Team on 01709 426379 if you need to cancel or rebook an appointment.

In line with Trust policy, your child may be discharged back to the care of your GP if:

  • your child is not brought for an appointment and you have not let us know you cannot attend
  • you cancel more than two of your child’s appointments

How to contact us?

Telephone 01709 426379
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Messages can be left on the answerphone outside of working hours

Produced by Dr Hamdoun, April 2022. 
Revision due: April 2024. Version: 1.0
©The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust 2022. All rights reserved

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  • Page last reviewed: 3 August 2023
  • Next review due: 3 August 2024