Australia’s paediatric population has grown by 19% in the last two decades, with 53% of this growth in NSW and Victoria. However, Medicare data indicates that the proportion of child visits to primary care is steadily decreasing.
Children also comprise the largest proportion of all emergency department attendances. At Sydney Children’s Hospital Networks (SCHN), there has been a 26% increase in the number of children attending outpatient clinics over the last three years. This has led to a significant increase in wait times.
Many children who present to hospital services are attending for conditions such as upper respiratory infections, asthma and low severity behaviour problems. These conditions have the capacity to be well managed in primary care, which can result in improved health outcomes.
A well trained and supported primary care workforce underpins the universal provision of equitable and comprehensive health care for children. This trial aims to determine if this can be achieved by integrating an educational relationship model between GPs and paediatricians in primary care.