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Community Paediatrics referrals

Information alert box Please refer to the correct service

Urgent assessment of a physical health problem, such as infants not gaining weight, should be directed to Acute Paediatrics or the relevant sub-specialty - never to our service.

Child Development Service

We see children from infants to 18 years of age with significant physical or learning disabilities and give medical input to their diagnosis and management.

We assess pre-school children (aged under five years) in whom there are concerns about developmental progress or autism.

We provide a medical assessment for school-aged children in whom there are significant concerns about motor co-ordination. These children are also recommended for referral to the Integrated Therapies team for a joint occupational and physiotherapy assessment, following a 12-week initial intervention programme.

We provide medical assessments for children who are being assessed for adoption or long-term fostering. Patients are referred for these assessments by their social worker.

We provide medical input to Education Health and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA). Referrals are made by the SEN team when an application for an EHCNA is accepted.

Child protection

We have a Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm on-call service for child protection medical advice or examination, including for pre-pubertal children who may have experienced sexual abuse.

Please see the Oxfordshire Child Protection Referral Pathways document for further information.

Referral arrangements

Patients can be referred by a Health Visitor, GP or other health professional, either by letter or e-Referral. Information from nursery or school, if available, is often very helpful at the point of referral. Children are seen according to the location of their home address.

Please send referrals to:

Community Audiology

Community Audiology assesses the hearing of children over the age of eight months.

Healthcare professionals may send referrals directly to:

Paediatric Audiology
Level LG1, West Wing
John Radcliffe Hospital
Headley Way
Oxford OX3 9DU

Tel: 01865 234445

For more information please visit Community Paediatrics.

Community Child Health / Child Development Clinic

Referral criteria

Due to significant increase in referrals to the clinic, and longer waiting times, referral criteria will be strictly adhered to. It is expected that all patients referred to the Child Development Clinic be seen for an in-person assessment by the referrer, and for observations made during that assessment to be shared as a key part of the referral information.

Parents of children aged under five years raising concerns about their child's developmental progress with their GP should routinely be advised to seek a targeted review by the Health Visiting Team (which parents can contact via ParentLine text 0-4 years: 07312 263081).

The Health Visitor assessment complements the role of the Child Development Clinic, provides additional helpful information for the assessment process and enables supportive interventions for the child and family from an earlier point.

Conditions seen

Neuro disability:
including patients with suspected or confirmed cerebral palsy, spina-bifida, muscular dystrophy, and acquired brain injury

Neuro developmental problems:
including developmental delays such as learning disabilities

the service will carry out a single medical assessment to assess for any underlying medical disorders only

Syndromes / chromosomal disorders:
including neuro-cutaneous syndromes; dysmorphism; chromosomal disorders; neuro-metabolic disorders; neurodegenerative disorders and syndromes with associated learning disabilities and/or developmental delay 

Diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder:
assessment of pre-school children (referral received before age 5 years)

Epilepsy with associated developmental delay /learning disabilities:
the purpose of investigations will be to identify underlying medical conditions and where necessary refer for further support to tertiary services, and/or to appropriate community services

Medical investigation of children with learning disability to identify any underlying medical disorders

Exclusions (not exhaustive)

Diagnostic assessments of Autistic Spectrum Disorders aged 5 years of age and older at time of referral:
appropriate referral pathway is via CAMHS SPA

Diagnostic assessments and/or treatment of suspected or confirmed ADHD at any age:
appropriate referral pathway is via CAMHS SPA

Emotional and behavioural problems:
including oppositional defiant behaviour, school refusal, and aggressive behaviour - information about courses and support for parents is available via:
Information for parents - Oxford City Council

Sexualised behaviour, fire-setting, behaviour manifestation in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome disorders and children with a known diagnosis of autism, attachment disorder, and self-harm:
Options for support via: education, social care / LCSS / Early Help, or via CAMHS SPA

Tics and Tourette's Syndrome:
if causing functional impairment please refer to Clinical Psychology team or Paediatric Neurology if medication is being considered

Specific learning difficulties:
including dyslexia, dyscalculia, isolated sensory processing difficulties, and auditory processing difficulties: assessment and support for these to be accessed via SEN provision in education service

Cognitive and standardised developmental assessment of school-aged children for the purpose of educational or other provisions

Sleep problems as primary presentation:
Health Visitor / school nurse intervention and consideration of referral to Sleep Clinic

Primary mental health diagnosis:
including but not limited to anxiety, depression, or psychotic problems. CYP requiring psychological support as primary presentation and those with established learning difficulties and syndromes

Failure to thrive:
refer to General Paediatrics

Constipation, soiling, and enuresis:
consider referral to health visitor / school nurse; community bowel and bladder service / General Paediatrics as appropriate

Psychological feeding problems as a primary presentation:
consider referral to community dietitians

Obesity advice and treatment:
consider referral to Here for Health

refer to Paediatric Neurology

Information to be sent with the referral

  • Educational report - nursery / pre-school / school report
  • Full medical summary and relevant notes from other secondary / tertiary providers
  • Consent of CYP / parent

Services requiring separate referral

Bowel and Bladder Service
For children aged over four years with continence issues

Children's Integrated Therapies - Oxford Health
Physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy

Early Years SEN Advisory Teachers (EYSENIT service)

Early support for children with complex health needs or disabilities
Single point of access referral form for therapy teams and EYSENIT service

Nutrition and Dietetics Service (Community Dietitians)

Oxfordshire Community Dental Service (OCDS)

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS
For mental health concerns or concerns about autism or ADHD in children over the age of five years

Last reviewed:17 November 2023