Background: Previous surveys of children's diabetes service provision in the UK have shown gradual improvements but continuing deficiencies.
Aim: To determine whether further improvements in services have occurred.
Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to all paediatricians in the UK identified as providing care for children and adolescents with diabetes. Responses were compared with results of three previous surveys, and with recommendations in the Diabetes NSF and the NICE type 1 diabetes guidelines.
Results: Replies were received from 187 consultant paediatricians in 169 centres looking after children; 89% expressed a special interest in diabetes, 98% saw children in a designated diabetic clinic, and 95% clinics now have more than 40 patients. In 98% of the clinics there was a specialist nurse (82% now children's trained), but 61% clinics had a nurse:patient ratio <1:100; 39% of clinics did not have a paediatric dietician and in 78% there was no access to psychology/psychiatry services in clinics. Glycated haemoglobin was measured routinely at clinics in 86%, annual screening for retinopathy performed in 80%, and microalbuminuria in 83%. All centres now have local protocols for ketoacidosis, but not for children undergoing surgery (90%) or severe hypoglycaemia (74%). Mean clinic HbA1c levels were significantly lower in the clinics run by specialists (8.9%) than generalists (9.4%). There have been incremental improvements over the last 14 years since the surveys began, but only two clinics met all the 10 previously published recommendations on standards of care.
Conclusions: The survey shows continuing improvements in organisational structure of services for children with diabetes but serious deficiencies remain. Publication and dissemination of the results of the previous surveys may have been associated with these improvements and similar recurrent service review may be applicable to services for other chronic childhood conditions.
AIM—To assess the changes in
services for children with diabetes in the south west of England
between two regionwide audits performed in 1994 and 1998.
METHODS—Questionnaires were sent to
consultant paediatricians, specialist diabetes nurses, dietitians, and
Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups. Information was gathered on
consultant and nursing caseload, clinic structure, dietetic and
psychological services, glycated haemoglobin use, and screening services.
RESULTS—In 1994 there were 21 consultant paediatricians caring for children with diabetes, only seven
of whom fulfilled the British Paediatric Association definition of a
specialist. By 1998 there were 14, 12 of whom fulfilled this
definition. In 1994 a significant number of children were being seen in
general paediatric clinics; by 1998 all centres stated that children
were being seen in designated diabetes clinics. Between the two audits,
despite a decrease in the average caseload of specialist diabetes
nurses, nursing services in many centres remained deficient, as did
dietetic and psychology services. Glycated haemoglobin use increased
from 16 of 21 consultants to all consultants. In 1998 there was still
patchy paediatric representation on Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups.
CONCLUSIONS—The 1994 audit was
followed by a change in clinical practice, in contrast to continuing
deficiencies in resources, despite the availability of national
recommendations and the widespread distribution of the audit report to
those in a position of influence.
A national survey of 509 parents of children with newly diagnosed diabetes elicited a 92% response rate, showing that 96% of children were admitted to hospital, 42% staying in hospital longer than one week and 41% received an intravenous infusion. More than 90% of parents expressed satisfaction with the information given at diagnosis, the preparation they received before discharge home, and the outpatient follow up services. Home visits from a diabetes nurse specialist (DNS) were received by 73% of families and 44% reported that the DNS was the most supportive person in the first year after diagnosis. Readmission during the first 12 months after diagnosis was required by 23% of children, more often in the youngest age group. Poor liaison with schools and the lack of diabetes knowledge in teachers were the sources of greatest dissatisfaction. Children under the care of paediatricians with no specialist interest in diabetes were significantly more likely to be kept in hospital longer at diagnosis and parents were less satisfied with outpatient care and school liaison. The study supports previous recommendations that diabetes nurse specialists are a priority resource in providing support services and that every district should have a paediatrician with a special interest in diabetes and a designated children's diabetic clinic.
To survey clinical practice and opinions of consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children to inform the needs for training, commissioning and management of children's surgery in the UK.
The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) hosted an online survey to gather data on current clinical practice of UK consultant surgeons and anaesthetists caring for children.
The questionnaire was circulated to all hospitals and to Anaesthetic and Surgical Royal Colleges, and relevant specialist societies covering the UK and the Channel Islands and was mainly completed by consultants in District General Hospitals.
555 surgeons and 1561 anaesthetists completed the questionnaire.
32.6% of surgeons and 43.5% of anaesthetists considered that there were deficiencies in their hospital's facilities that potentially compromised delivery of a safe children's surgical service. Almost 10% of all consultants considered that their postgraduate training was insufficient for current paediatric practice and 20% felt that recent Continued Professional Development failed to maintain paediatric expertise. 45.4% of surgeons and 39.2% of anaesthetists considered that the current specialty curriculum should have a larger paediatric component. Consultants in non-specialist paediatric centres were prepared to care for younger children admitted for surgery as emergencies than those admitted electively. Many of the surgeons and anaesthetists had <4 h/week in paediatric practice. Only 55.3% of surgeons and 42.8% of anaesthetists participated in any form of regular multidisciplinary review of children undergoing surgery.
There are significant obstacles to consultant surgeons and anaesthetists providing a competent surgical service for children. Postgraduate curricula must meet the needs of trainees who will be expected to include children in their caseload as consultants. Trusts must ensure appropriate support for consultants to maintain paediatric skills and provide the necessary facilities for a high-quality local surgical service.
OBJECTIVE--To establish the incidence of insulin dependent diabetes diagnosed in children under 5 years of age in the British Isles during 1992, comparing the national and regional results with those of our 1988 national study, and estimating the 1992 study's level of case ascertainment. DESIGN--Active monthly reporting of cases by consultant paediatricians through the framework of the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, with additional reports from specialist diabetes nurses and regional health authorities. SUBJECTS--All children diagnosed under the age of 5 years with primary insulin dependent diabetes from 1 January to 31 December 1992 (inclusive) and resident in the British Isles at diagnosis. RESULTS--387 children (208 boys and 179 girls) were confirmed to have insulin dependent diabetes, giving a national incidence of 9.3/100,000/year. This is similar to the 9.9/100,000/year found in 1988. Three sample capture-recapture analysis, which could only be applied across the 12 (out of 18) regions supplying regional information to the study, suggested ascertainment rates of 78% for the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, 67% for specialist nurses, 69% for regional health authorities, and 99% for the aggregated registry. CONCLUSIONS--The national incidence of diabetes in the under 5s in the British Isles did not differ between 1988 and 1992. Nearly complete (99%) ascertainment of cases was possible only for regions for which three data sources were available. Capture-recapture analysis highlighted both the need for more than one data source and for each data source to be complete for the whole study area.
Accepted 17 March 1997
OBJECTIVE—To investigate the relationship between
clinic provision, consultant and nursing caseload, and processes and
outcomes of diabetes care in children.
DESIGN—Retrospective audit in the South Western
region of England of 801 children and young people with diabetes; 701 were seen in a designated clinic. Seven of 21 consultants fulfilled the
British Paediatric Association (BPA) criteria for a specialist in
childhood diabetes. Seventeen nurses provided specialist care.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES—Glycated haemoglobin,
admissions to hospital clinic attendance rates, contacts with a
dietitian, measurements of height and weight, and screening rates for
hypertension, microalbuminuria, and retinopathy.
RESULTS—Children under the care of
`non-specialists' had higher admission rates to hospital with all
diabetes related problems and for hypoglycaemia and lower screening
rates for microalbuminuria than those under `specialists'. Children
under the care of the two tertiary hospital consultants had lowest
glycated haemoglobin results, spent least time in hospital at
diagnosis, were most likely to have their heights and weights plotted,
and to be screened for microalbuminuria and retinopathy, had higher
admission rates, lower clinic attendance rates, and fewer dietitian
consultations. Higher nursing caseloads were associated with longer
periods of admission at diagnosis, better clinic attendance rates,
reduced rates of admission after diagnosis, and less likelihood of
having blood pressure measured and being screened for microalbuminuria. Children attending general paediatric clinics were less likely to be
seen by a dietitian and to have their height and weight plotted.
CONCLUSIONS—The results are consistent with the
recommendation of a BPA working party in 1990 that children with
diabetes should be cared for by specialist paediatricians with a
caseload of more than 40 children, and that children should be seen in
a designated diabetic clinic.
Despite many studies confirming that the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children is common, few have assessed related adverse events.
To conduct a national survey to identify the frequency and severity of adverse events associated with paediatric CAM use.
Survey questions were developed based on a review of relevant literature and consultation with content experts. In January 2006, the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program distributed the survey to all paediatricians and paediatric subspecialists in active practice in Canada.
Of the 2489 paediatricians who received the survey, 583 (23%) responded. Respondents reported that they asked patients about CAM use 38% of the time and that patients disclosed this information before being questioned only 22% of the time. Forty-two paediatricians (7%) reported seeing adverse events, most commonly involving natural health products, in the previous year. One hundred five paediatricians (18%) reported witnessing cases of delayed diagnosis or treatment (n=488) that they attributed to the use of CAM.
While serious adverse events associated with paediatric CAM appear to be rare, delays in diagnosis or treatment seem more common. Given the lack of paediatrician-patient discussion regarding CAM use, our findings may under-represent adverse events. A lack of reported adverse events should not be interpreted as a confirmation of safety. Active surveillance is required to accurately assess the incidence, nature and severity of paediatric CAM-related adverse events. Patient safety demands that paediatricians routinely inquire about the use of CAM.
Adverse effects; Complementary therapies; Health survey; Manipulation; Natural products; Paediatrics; Spinal
Children’s emergency admissions in England are increasing. Community Children’s Nursing Teams (CCNTs) have developed services to manage acutely ill children at home to reduce demand for unscheduled care. Referral between General Practitioners (GPs) and CCNTs may reduce avoidable admissions and minimise the psychosocial and financial impact of hospitalisation on children, families and the NHS. However, facilitators of GP referral to CCNTs are not known. The aim of this study was to identify facilitators of GP referral to CCNTs.
Semi-structured interviews with 39 health professionals were conducted between June 2009 and February 2010 in three Primary Care Trusts served by CCNTs in North West England. Interviewees included GPs, Community Children’s Nurses (CCNs), consultant paediatricians, commissioners, and service managers. Qualitative data were analysed thematically using the Framework approach in NVivo 8.
Five facilitators were identified: 1) CCN/CCNT visibility; 2) clear clinical governance procedures; 3) financial and organisational investment in the role of CCNTs in acute care pathways; 4) access and out of hours availability; 5) facilitative financial frameworks.
GPs required confidence in CCNs’ competence to safely manage acutely ill children at home and secure rapid referral if a child’s condition deteriorated. Incremental approaches to developing GP referral to CCNTs underpinned by clear clinical governance protocols are likely to be most effective in building GP confidence and avoiding inappropriate admission.
Young children with mental health and developmental problems may not receive appropriate or timely interventions. Primary care physicians are well positioned to play an important role in the early identification and referral of such children. The objective of this pilot study was to explore the role primary care physicians played for a group of such children.
A single mailing of 1196 self-report questionnaires were sent to parents/caregivers of children under six years of age at four specialty centers in Ontario and Alberta. Key items on the survey included the role of primary care physicians (family physicians and community paediatricians).
Twenty percent of parents/caregivers returned questionnaires. All children saw either a family physician or a community paediatrician, while 65% saw both. Families were more likely to have come to the specialty centre via a referral from a community paediatrician than a family physician. Ten percent reportedly received no referrals from a primary care physician, while 21% did not receive a referral to a specialty centre from these providers.
The majority of children received at least one referral from a primary care physician. Further inquiry is required to determine the timeliness and appropriateness of these referrals.
child; mental disorders; primary health care; referral and consultation; enfant; troubles mentaux; soins de première ligne; référence et consultation
Primary care physicians are the first-line assessors of children’s mental health. Previous studies have shown a trend of over-reliance on referrals to child and adolescent psychiatrists and an underutilization of children’s mental health agencies. A survey was conducted to a) examine the criteria used by family physicians and primary-care paediatricians in deciding how to refer youth to mental health services, and b) assess interest in developing a set of formal guidelines outlining when to consider referral to child and adolescent psychiatrists and children’s mental health agencies.
A mail-out survey was conducted using elements of the Dillman method. Two regions in Ontario were surveyed, Northwestern Ontario and Middlesex County, allowing for comparison between rural and urban settings.
Of the 266 physicians eligible for the study, 116 returned completed surveys, for a response rate of 40%. Awareness and utilization of children’s mental health agencies was higher than predicted in both regions. A number of referral trends were identified. A majority of respondents in both regions indicated that they would like a standardized protocol and/or guidelines when referring to both psychiatrists and children mental health agencies.
This study demonstrated that, in addition to referring to child and adolescent psychiatrists, the majority of primary care physicians are aware of and utilize children’s mental health agencies in Ontario.
children’s mental health agencies; referral patterns; rural primary care physicians; family physicians; paediatricians; organisme de santé mentale pour enfants; mode de référence; médecin de première ligne en milieu rural; médecin de famille; pédiatre
OBJECTIVE--To ascertain the annual incidence rate of insulin dependent diabetes diagnosed in children under the age of 15 years in the British Isles during 1988, and to compare the results with an earlier study carried out in 1973-4. DESIGN--Active monthly reporting of cases by consultant paediatricians, with additional input from diabetologists and all specialist diabetes nurses and health visitors. SETTING--British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland) with a total population at risk of 11,819,000 children. PATIENTS--All children diagnosed under the age of 15 years with primary insulin dependent diabetes from 1 January to 31 December 1988 and resident in the British Isles at diagnosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--National incidence rate of insulin dependent diabetes; differences in incidence rates between regions and between three age groups: 4 and under, 5-9, and 10-14 year olds. RESULTS--1600 children (837 boys and 763 girls) had a confirmed diagnosis of insulin dependent diabetes, giving a national incidence rate of 13.5/100,000/year (95% confidence interval 12.9 to 14.2/100,000/year). This was considerably higher than the incidence rate of 7.7/100,000/year in children under the age of 16 years reported in the British Diabetic Association's study of 1973-4. The age-sex adjusted rates varied between regions, ranging from 6.8/100,000/year (Republic of Ireland) to 19.8/100,000/year (Scotland). There were considerable differences in the numbers of cases diagnosed each month, with the 10-14 year age group showing the most seasonal variation. A quarter of the children (404/1600) were under 5 years old. Case ascertainment was estimated as 90%. CONCLUSIONS--Insulin dependent diabetes in the British Isles does not seem to occur uniformly over time or geographical area. Even allowing for differences in ascertainment between the 1973-4 and 1988 studies, there seems to have been an increase in the incidence rate of insulin dependent diabetes in children under the age of 15 years during the 15 year time period. If diabetes is becoming more common in this age group, possibly by developing earlier in susceptible children, this would be a matter of considerable public health concern.
To develop care of diabetes further a specialist nurse established contact with general practices in Sheffield Health District and identified difficulties in providing a service for diabetics. One hundred and thirty practices were visited, and full data were collected from 104. Each practice agreed to establish a register of diabetics, and information and support were subsequently provided to help in developing services. In collecting information from each practice the nurse covered specific points on staff, facilities, and organisation. Over two years the service offered in 60 practices considerably improved, allowing a minimum standard of diabetic care to be achieved. This allowed coordinated and effective referral of certain patients from hospital diabetic clinics and improved services to those not attending any clinics.
Non-specialist palliative care, as it is delivered by general practitioners, is a basic component of a comprehensive palliative care infrastructure for adult patients with progressive and far advanced disease. Currently palliative care for children and adolescents is recognized as a distinct entity of care, requiring networks of service providers across different settings, including paediatricians working in general practice. In Germany, the medical home care for children and adolescents is to a large extent delivered by general paediatricians working in their own practice. However, these are rarely confronted with children suffering from life-limiting diseases. The aim of this study was therefore to examine potential barriers, incentives, and the professional self-image of general paediatricians with regard to paediatric palliative care.
Based on qualitative expert interviews, a questionnaire was designed and a survey among general paediatricians in their own practice (n = 293) was undertaken. The survey has been developed and performed in close cooperation with the regional professional association of paediatricians.
The results showed a high disposition on part of the paediatricians to engage in palliative care, and the majority of respondents regarded palliative care as part of their profile. Main barriers for the implementation were time restrictions (40.7%) and financial burden (31.6%), sole responsibility without team support (31.1%), as well as formal requirements such as forms and prescriptions (26.6%). Major facilitations were support by local specialist services such as home care nursing service (83.0%), access to a specialist paediatric palliative care consultation team (82.4%), as well as an option of exchange with colleagues (60.1%).
Altogether, the high commitment to this survey reflects the relevance of the issue for paediatricians working in general practice. Education in basic palliative care competence and communication skills was seen as an important prerequisite for the engagement in paediatric palliative home care. A local network of specialist support on site and a 24/7 on-call service are necessary in order to facilitate the implementation of basic palliative care by paediatricians in their own practice.
Registered nurses on the frontlines of care are increasingly burdened by changes in staffing, increased turnover, demands on their time and the continual need for advanced knowledge and training. We identify employment and environmental characteristics that may ultimately affect the quality of care
Surveys were mailed to a random sample of all registered nurses licensed and residing in large southeastern US State. Responses from 10, 951 nurses providing direct patient care were compared to national findings. Descriptive statistics were used to examine demographics, the practice environment, nurse outcomes and the quality of care.
Nurses in this state are more racially diverse and less educated that nurses nationally. Theses nurses report high levels of burnout and job dissatisfaction, and almost one-quarter intend to leave their jobs within the next year. The majority of nurses report good working relationships with physicians, but perceive problems with workplace management.
Nurses report inadequate resources and the administrative support necessary to provide quality care. The proportion of nurses with baccalaureate and graduate education qualifications is less than is needed now and certainly insufficient for the future. Policy efforts must address these issues to retain our nurse workforce and improve the quality of patient care.
nurse work environment; nurse education; job satisfaction; burnout; intent to leave
The purpose of this study is to investigate parent reports of the diabetes care support their children receive in school, their concerns about diabetes management in school, and their knowledge of federal laws that protect children with diabetes. In addition, the study explores ethnic and socioeconomic status differences in diabetes management in school.
An ethnically heterogeneous sample of 309 parents of children with diabetes was recruited from a community-based and a university-based diabetes outpatient clinic. Parents completed a survey assessing supports their child's school provides for diabetes care, worries about diabetes care in school, and awareness of federal laws that pertain to children with diabetes.
Many children did not have a written care plan or a nurse at school, but significantly more white children had these supports than Hispanic or black children. Most children were not allowed to check blood glucose levels or administer insulin in class. Most parents were worried about hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in school, and most were not at all or only a little confident in the school's ability to care for diabetes. Most parents were not aware of federal laws, but high-income and white parents were more likely to be aware.
According to parents in the current study, children receive inadequate diabetes management support in schools. Minority children are less likely to receive supports than white children. Parents are worried about diabetes management in school, but most do not have the knowledge of federal laws necessary to protect their children.
Paediatrician human resource planning in Canada is currently a major concern. The optimal mix of physicians by type of practice and geographical distribution also remains controversial for many groups of physicians.
To compare 10-year trends (1987 to 1997) in paediatric practice with respect to age, sex and percentage of paediatricians practicing tertiary care.
Information on the demographics and practice patterns of Canadian paediatricians obtained from national surveys conducted in 1987 and 1997 was examined.
In the 1987 survey, 1960 paediatricians were mailed a questionnaire, and 1352 questionnaires were returned (response rate of 69%). In the 1997 survey, 1706 of 2337 paediatricians returned the completed questionnaire (response rate of 73%). In 1987, 26.2% of paediatricians were women compared with 38.5% in 1997 (P<0.0001). When men and women were combined, 14.5% of paediatricians were in the 25- to 34-year age bracket in 1987, compared with only 9.7% in 1997 (P=0.0002). In 1987, 37.7% of paediatricians reported practicing tertiary care versus 38.7% in 1997 (P=0.61). In addition, tertiary care paediatricians have become more centralized in communities with more than 100,000 people.
The results confirm that the paediatric workforce is aging, located primarily in large urban areas and shifting toward more women. Shortages of paediatricians, especially in remote and rural areas, continue to be a major concern and show no signs of improvement. The potential impact of these changes on delivery and quality of child-care services in the future needs to be assessed.
Paediatricians; Physician human resources; Workforce
This study intended to identify the need for the legalization and development of a systematic program for physician assistants (PAs) by understanding the actual state of PA operation in hospitals. In 114 hospitals assigned as resident training hospitals for surgery, a survey was conducted on the personnel working as PAs in those hospitals; the survey included general personal information, working conditions, training time, and satisfaction. A total of 192 PAs in surgery at 35 hospitals responded to the survey. The types of PAs are Surgical Assistant, Clinical Physician Assistant, Wound Ostomy Care Nurse, Coordinator, and Clinical Research Coordinator. Types of work PAs preformed are surgical assistance, wound dressing, educating patients, overlooking consultation, doing paper works, writing operation records, and confirming examination results which were ordered. The satisfaction level for the position which PAs hold were 29.1% and and satisfaction level which doctors see towards PA was 15%. The role and the job descriptions of PAs are not clear cut, there are many discrepancies among hospitals we studied. As a result, legalization and the implementation of standardized role of PAs will lead to increase level of satisfactions in the work force and the quality of work which PAs perform will be greater.
Physician Assistants; General Surgery
OBJECTIVES--To document the number of children aged less than 15 years who developed diabetes and were managed within one large health district, and to evaluate the outcome of those children managed without hospital admission at diagnosis. DESIGN--A retrospective study over 1979-88, when a paediatrician and a physician with special interests in childhood diabetes initiated joint clinics. Data collected from the district diabetes register and files of consultants and health visitors specialising in diabetes. SETTING--Referral of children to consultants in Leicestershire (total population 863,000). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The proportion of children managed without hospital admission, comparison of readmission rates and glycated haemoglobin concentrations between children admitted and those not admitted. RESULTS--Over 10 years 236 children aged 10-14 years developed diabetes (annual incidence rate 12.8/100,000 child population (95% confidence interval 11.3 to 14.7)). In total 138 were not admitted to hospital but received supervised management based at home. Admitted children were younger or acidotic or their family doctors did not contact the diabetes team. Duration of admission declined from seven days in 1979-80 to three days in 1987-8. Ninety two were not admitted to hospital during the 10 years for any reason. Significantly fewer children who received management at home were readmitted for reasons related to diabetes than the group treated in hospital (30 (22%) v 40 (41%); p = 0.004). Concentrations of glycated haemoglobin were no different between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS--Children with newly diagnosed diabetes may be safely and effectively managed out of hospital. Domiciliary or community based management depends on the commitment of consultants specialising in diabetes working in close cooperation with general practitioners, specialist nurses in diabetes, and dietitians.
The Shared Care model, originally developed to address the paucity of adult mental health resources, has potential applicability to the design and delivery of mental health services for children and youth. With a similar prevalence of mental illness and more difficulty accessing mental health care than adults, Canadian children and youth have been even less well served than their parents. As there is a significant overlap in the types of health concerns for which children and youth are seen by mental health clinicians and paediatricians, building improved collaboration between these groups is an obvious, though under-utilized, method of enhancing mental health care for this population. The CHAT project was a one year collaboration involving three different types of collaborative activities between mental health clinicians and paediatricians.
Out-patient mental health clinicians and community paediatricians were surveyed about their educational needs and interests. A community paediatrician joined an outpatient mental health care team, continuing professional educational activities were provided by each group for the other and were evaluated.
The paediatrician’s participation was evaluated positively by team members. Eighty-three percent of mental health clinicians (n=10) rated the educational sessions positively and 77.8% (n=7) noted increased knowledge. Paediatricians expressed strong interest in having more mental health-related educational activities.
This small project provided opportunities for useful exchanges between mental health clinicians and community paediatricians and preliminary evidence that shared care initiatives for children and youth should be further researched.
shared care; collaborative mental health care; paediatric mental health; child psychiatry; soins partagés; collaboration en santé mentale; santé mentale pédiatrique; psychiatrie de l’enfant
Background: The UK National Health Service is failing to meet the need for diagnosis and treatment of allergic disorders, which are common and increasing in prevalence. The House of Commons select committee report on allergy services highlighted the inequalities and urgent need for investment.
Aim: To survey the allergy workload provided by clinical immunologists to inform service planning and resource allocation.
Methods: The allergy services performed by clinical immunologists during a 12 month period from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 were surveyed by means of a questionnaire via supraregional audit groups.
Results: The immunology centres surveyed serve 32 million people and offer almost the complete repertoire of a specialised allergy service. There were large variations in clinic capacity, new referrals, appointment duration, and service configuration. Services were largely consultant delivered, but availability of joint clinics with paediatricians and anaesthetists was locally variable. Novel service delivery models utilising nurses and clinical assistants have been developed and merit further investigation.
Conclusion: Consultant immunologists and trainees currently make a major contribution to the development and provision of specialised allergy services. Consultant immunologists will probably remain key providers of tertiary level allergy care in the UK in the long term (in line with other countries) and will be pivotal in supporting and developing the provision of equitable national access to specialist allergy services in a timely manner. Rapid progress in developing the new specialty of allergy and securing better access to services for patients in the short term will be best served by strengthening the collaborative relationship between allergists and clinical immunologists.
immunology; clinical allergy services; audit; workload
OBJECTIVE--To determine the outcome in nearly drowned children in the British Isles and identify factors that might predict a poor prognosis. DESIGN--Study of drowned and of nearly drowned children aged less than or equal to 14. Information on nearly drowned children admitted to hospital obtained from consultant paediatricians returning monthly notification cards through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit. Information on drowned children obtained from Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and other national epidemiological offices. SETTING--British Isles, 1988 and 1989. SUBJECTS--330 children who had confirmed submersion incidents. 142 died before admission to hospital and 188 children were admitted after nearly drowning. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Death, full recovery, or degree of handicap after near drowning and signs on admission to hospital. RESULTS--All of the children who were conscious on admission fully recovered. Of the 64 children unconscious on admission, 31 had normally reactive pupils and all but three (all of whom had severe preexisting neurological disease) recovered fully. Of the 33 children with fixed dilated pupils on admission, 10 fully recovered, 13 died, and 10 had severe neurological deficit. Spontaneous respiratory effect on admission was associated with normal survival. Pupils that remained dilated six hours after admission and fits continuing 24 hours after admission predicted a poor outcome. CONCLUSION--Children can survive normally after near drowning in the British Isles, particularly if they have been hypothermic. Resuscitation should not be abandoned in nearly drowned children until they have been rewarmed.
There is a significant overlap between paediatrics and otolaryngology relating to clinical practice of the two specialties. A lack of cross-training has been identified in previous studies, but the specifics have not been established. The present study was directed at paediatricians in Canada, and examined the need for mandatory otolaryngology training during paediatric residency.
Surveys were mailed out to paediatricians in Canada who had completed residency within the past 20 years. Guidelines for the mailing procedure were regulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A cover letter, survey form and return envelope were included in the package. Data were tabulated and described using descriptive statistics.
Six hundred sixty-six surveys were mailed; the response rate was 48%. Seventy-three per cent of paediatricians indicated that otolaryngology training should be mandatory during paediatric residency. Seventy-nine per cent of general paediatricians and 68% of subspecialists also believed that it should be mandatory training. Seventy per cent of paediatricians indicated that clinical experience was the best format for otolaryngology training, the other options being lectures or rotations. Postgraduate year 2 was the most preferred year for this training. For paediatricians who indicated mandatory training, 45% indicated that it could not replace something else, 38% said that it could replace another experience and the remainder were undecided. The respondents provided helpful commentary.
The majority of surveyed paediatricians in Canada believe that otolaryngology training should be mandatory during paediatric residency. There was also a general consensus relating to the format (clinical experience) and the duration (two to four weeks) of the training.
Education; Otolaryngology; Paediatrics; Residency; Training
A good patient-physician interaction is particularly important in chronic diseases like diabetes. There are so far no published data regarding the interaction between the primary health-care providers and patients with type 2 diabetes in Oman, where diabetes is a major and growing health problem. This study aimed at exploring how health-care providers interact with patients with type 2 diabetes at primary health-care level in Muscat, Oman, focusing on the consultation environment, and some aspects of care and information.
Direct observations of 90 consultations between 23 doctors and 13 diabetes nurses concerned with diabetes management during their consultations with type 2 diabetes patients in six primary health-care centres in the Muscat region, using checklists developed from the National Diabetes Guidelines. Consultations were assessed as optimal if more than 75% of observed aspects were fulfilled and sub-optimal if less than 50% were fulfilled.
Overall 52% of the doctors' consultations were not optimal. Some important aspects for a positive consultation environment were fulfilled in only about half of the doctors' consultations: ensuring privacy of consultation (49%), eye contact (49%), good attention (52%), encouraging asking questions (47%), and emphasizing on the patients' understanding of the provided information (52%). The doctors enquired about adverse effects of anti-diabetes drugs in less than 10% of consultations. The quality of the nurses' consultations was sub-optimal in about 75% of 85 consultations regarding aspects of consultation environment, care and information.
The performance of the primary health-care doctors and diabetes nurses needs to be improved. The role of the diabetes nurses and the teamwork should be enhanced. We suggest a multidisciplinary team approach, training and education to the providers to upgrade their skills regarding communication and care. Barriers to compliance with the guidelines need to be further explored. Improving the work situation mainly for the diabetes nurses and further improvement in the organizational efficiency of diabetes services such as lowering the number of patients in diabetes clinic, are suggested.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most disabling chronic conditions worldwide, resulting in significant human, social and economic costs and placing huge demands on health care systems. The Inala Chronic Disease Management Service aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care for patients with type 2 diabetes who have been referred by their general practitioner to a specialist diabetes outpatient clinic. Care is provided by a multidisciplinary, integrated team consisting of an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educators, General Practitioner Clinical Fellows (general practitioners who have undertaken focussed post-graduate training in complex diabetes care), and allied health personnel (a dietitian, podiatrist and psychologist).
Using a geographical control, this evaluation study tests the impact of this model of diabetes care provided by the service on patient outcomes compared to usual care provided at the specialist diabetes outpatient clinic. Data collection at baseline, 6 and 12-months will compare the primary outcome (glycaemic control) and secondary outcomes (serum lipid profile, blood pressure, physical activity, smoking status, quality of life, diabetes self-efficacy and cost-effectiveness).
This model of diabetes care combines the patient focus and holistic care valued by the primary care sector with the specialised knowledge and skills of hospital diabetes care. Our study will provide empirical evidence about the clinical effectiveness of this model of care.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12608000010392.
Variation in clinical practice and its effect on outcome is little known for rare diseases such as primary antibody deficiency. As part of a national audit a survey of all 30 consultant immunologists in the United Kingdom dealing with primary antibody deficiency syndromes in adults and children was carried out in 1993 to ascertain their practices in diagnosis and management. Consensus guidelines were published after the survey was completed. Comparison of the survey results of clinical practice at the time the guidelines were published with the standards identified highlighted that the practice of a minority of specialists was at variance with their peers and with the consensus document, particularly in the use of intramuscular immunoglobulin, the dose and frequency of intravenous immunoglobulin, and target trough immunoglobulin G concentration, which has implications for the quality of patient care. However, much closer agreement existed in the key areas of management, such as diagnosis and selection of intravenous immunoglobulin. The approach and the problems identified are relevant to the management of other rare diseases, in which diagnosis and management is complex and there are few specialists with the necessary knowledge to undertake such care. This survey, the first attempted audit of practice, shows that within a motivated group of specialists highly significant differences in practice may exist and the authors emphasise the importance of setting clear guidelines against which care can be assessed.