Identifying and prioritising future interventions with stakeholders to improve paediatric urgent care pathways in Scotland, UK: a mixed-methods study



King E, France E, Malcolm C, Kumar S, Dick S, Kyle RG, Wilson P, Aucott L, Turner S & Hoddinott P (2023) Identifying and prioritising future interventions with stakeholders to improve paediatric urgent care pathways in Scotland, UK: a mixed-methods study. BMJ Open, 13 (10), Art. No.: e074141.

Objectives: To identify and prioritise interventions, from the perspectives of parents and health professionals, which may be alternatives to current unscheduled paediatric urgent care pathways. Design: FLAMINGO (FLow of AdMissions in chIldren and youNG peOple) is a sequential mixed-methods study, with public and patient involvement (PPI) throughout. Data linkage for urgent admissions and three referral sources: emergency department, out of hours service and general practice, was followed by qualitative interviews with parents and professionals. Findings were presented and discussed at a stakeholder intervention prioritisation event. Setting: National Health Service in Scotland, UK. Participants: Quantitative data: children with urgent medical admission to hospital from 2015 to 2017. Qualitative interviews: parents and health professionals with experiences of urgent short stay hospital admissions of children. PPI engagement was conducted with nine parent–toddler groups and a university-based PPI advisory group. Stakeholder event: parents, health professionals and representatives from Scottish Government, academia, charities and PPI attended. Results: Data for 171 039 admissions which included 92 229 short stay admissions were analysed and 48 health professionals and 21 parents were interviewed. The stakeholder event included 7 parents, 12 health professionals and 28 other stakeholders. Analysis and synthesis of all data identified seven interventions which were prioritised at the stakeholder event: (1) addressing gaps in acute paediatric skills of health professionals working in community settings; (2) assessment and observation of acutely unwell children in community settings; (3) creation of holistic children’s ‘hubs’; (4) adoption of ‘hospital at home’ models; and three specialised care pathways for subgroups of children; (5) convulsions; (6) being aged <2 years old; and (7) wheeze/bronchiolitis. Stakeholders prioritised interventions 1, 2 and 3; these could be combined into a whole population intervention. Barriers to progressing these include resources, staffing and rurality. Conclusions: Health professionals and families want future interventions that are patient-centred, community-based and aligned to outcomes that matter to them.

General Medicine

BMJ Open: Volume 13, Issue 10

Publication date31/10/2023
Publication date online31/10/2023
Date accepted by journal19/09/2023

People (3)


Professor Emma France

Professor Emma France

Associate Professor, Health Sciences Stirling

Professor Pat Hoddinott

Professor Pat Hoddinott

Chair in Primary Care, NMAHP

Dr Emma King

Dr Emma King

Research Fellow, NMAHP