24 May, 2016

Learning Together to Improve Child Health

The pioneering ‘Learning Together’ scheme by the RCPCH and the RCGP advocates GP and paediatric trainees working side by side in order to share ideas and learn from each other.

The Learning Together scheme which involved GP and paediatric registrars – paediatricians and GPs in their final year(s) of training – working in clinics together has been piloted in London and has led to referral or A&E visits being avoided in 55% of appointments and saw compliance with clinical guidelines move from 57% to 76%.

The joint position paper on inter-professional training recommends that models like this are considered by commissioners across the country, for trainees at all stages of their career, and if required, adapted to suit local need. The model, which is just one of several recognised by the Colleges, sees outreach services jointly run by paediatricians and GPs, and other primary care colleagues within GP practices. 

By exposing trainee paediatricians and general practitioners to increased numbers of children outside of their traditional healthcare setting, it will enable them to learn from one another, improve health outcomes for children and reduce costs to the wider healthcare system.

‘Learning Together to Improve Child Health’ recommends:

  • Paediatricians should spend time working side by side with GPs and other primary care professionals in general practice settings
  • Trainee GPs should spend time in specialist settings such as hospitals alongside paediatricians, to expose them to large numbers of sick children in safe, supervised environments
  • Extending GP training to four years to include specialist child health training
  • After training, GPs and Consultant Paediatricians should continue to spend time working side by side in general practice and specialist settings

You can read the full | Positioning Paper