General paediatrics covers a wide range of illnesses and problems you might have, from urgent medical conditions to more long-term health needs.
At Birmingham Children's Hospital, the team does the following:
Acute inpatient. You might see a medical doctor if you have come to the hospital via the Emergency Department (ED) after becoming poorly with things like asthma and infections. You are likely to stay on one of three wards called "general medical wards". These wards are especially busy during the winter because quite a lot of children get "seasonal respiratory illnesses". These can be like a nasty dose of 'flu.
Outpatient clinics. Your family doctor might refer you to our outpatient clinics for some specialist medical advice, tests and medicine. You might also be referred to a clinic by the ED.
Portal service. This is a "virtual" outpatient clinic which helps your family GP diagnose what's wrong with you or decide what treatment to give you by speaking online to a doctor at the hospital. The idea is to prevent children going to hospital unnecessarily. How it works is that your doctor will ask a hospital doctor's advice via the computer and the hospital doctor will reply within 48 hours. Then your doctor can decide what is best for you. It's a new service, which started in early 2011, so only operates at doctors' surgeries in some parts of Birmingham.
Outpatient community clinics. This is also a fairly new service for the hospital. At the moment there are community clinics only in Wychall and Balsall Heath but there may be more across the city in the future.
Nurse-led outpatient clinics. These are clinics, run by a specialist nurse, Gaynor Pettitt, where you will see a nurse rather than a medical doctor. Again, you may have been referred by your family GP for more specialist advice and treatment. You may go to one of these clinics if you have problems with going to the toilet or if you have an allergy or asthma.
Safeguarding. The medical team has a specialist doctor who is responsible for what is called "safeguarding". That means making sure you are safe from anyone who might be trying to harm you in some way. If there is a problem, we will always do what is necessary to make the situation better. That might involve contacting people in other organisations.
There are other things the medical doctors and nurses do at the hospital. These include:
Emergency Care Pathway Project
This project is being developed during 2011. The medical team are part of this work, along with the specialist staff in the hospital.
Its aim is to re-look at how things are done if you have to come and stay at the hospital, so that the process is easier and more efficient.
The medical team runs an advisory service for the whole hospital. What this means is that if you are staying at here because of a heart problem, for example, you might get an infection or start to feel sick because of the medicine you've been given. So the heart doctors will ask a medical doctor to take a look at you and give advice about what treatment to give you.
Please note: some clinics for this department are held off-site at Lordswood Health Centre, Wychall Lane Children’s Centre and Greet Health Centre. Please check your appointment letter if you are unsure where your appointment will be.