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Paediatrics (general) referrals


Use e-Referral for routine new patient referrals for children aged between 0 - 16 years (i.e. up to, but not beyond, their 16th birthday) with general paediatric problems.

Clinics are held in both the Children's Hospital on the John Radcliffe site, and at the Horton General Hospital.

Patients to refer

Essentially any child for whom a secondary care opinion is sought for a medical condition.

Any list given cannot be exhaustive, but some of the more common reasons for referral are given below.

Please note that conditions that may ultimately, but not necessarily, need a tertiary opinion (e.g. asymptomatic cardiac murmur heard at pre-school check, headaches without any other obvious worrying features, persistent loose stools), should be directed to General Paediatrics in the first instance.

Common problems

  • Minor abnormalities e.g. funny head shape, unusual birthmarks, soft dysmorphic features
  • Failure to thrive or concerns about growth
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Persistent loose stools / food intolerance
  • Bedwetting or daytime enuresis
  • UTI if referral necessary as per NICE guideline
  • Headaches
  • Funny turns
  • Concerns about minor developmental issues
  • Asymptomatic cardiac murmurs:
    Cardiac murmurs detected at newborn examination (pdf, 115 KB)
  • Recurrent cough / noisy breathing

Refer to General Paediatrics, and the referral will be accepted or passed on to an appropriate specialty team if necessary.


This cannot be an exhaustive list, but includes specific surgical problems e.g. hernias, major developmental issues (refer to community paediatrics), concerns about autism or ADHD (community paeds or CAMHS).

Paediatric Consultant Advice Service (PCAS)

Please find details of this service at the link below.

Paediatric Consultant Advice Service (PCAS)

Children's Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)

There is a Children's Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) on Bellhouse-Drayson Ward in the Children's Hospital.

The Unit is open every day from 10.00am until midnight for medical and related conditions. It provides assessment, treatment and/or observation of children, under 16 years old, who need to be in hospital for less than eight hours.

Children are assessed in the Emergency Department in the usual way, referrals booked through the ward Registrar (bleep 1392). All referrals must be made by 9.00pm. Children admitted to CDU will then either be admitted to an inpatient bed or discharged home.

Rapid Access Clinic referrals

John Radcliffe Hospital only

To change an existing appointment

Tel: 01865 226890 option 6

Horton General Hospital only

Twice monthly Thursday afternoons.

Please contact the Secretaries.

Tel: 01295 229012/4

Last reviewed:14 September 2023