At this time of national emergency, community paediatricians will want to ‘do their bit’ to support the national effort. For some with appropriate skills, this may involve increasing or returning to acute hospital work. However, others will be unable to do so for a variety of reasons including current skill set, caring responsibilities or personal health. NHSE has also directed that some CCH work must continue during the emergency.
NHSE advice on prioritisation in CCH services in England is available here
This document states the following services will continue, offering opportunities for retirees to help clinically if appropriate, releasing other staff e.g. trainees with more up to date skills, for COVID work (* indicates roles with reduced exposure to infection):
- Safeguarding medicals
- Looked After Children Initial Health Assessments (may be modified or just provide initial advice by phone if appropriate)
- Other essential clinical work (likely remotely) including emotional and behavioural support for families e.g.
- HVs/school nurses may benefit from access to telephone advice on new patients who cannot be seen*
- Some families will undoubtedly keep their children – even those with SEND – at home to avoid infection. We know that being off school causes stress in families of children with SEND, resulting in behavioural crises presenting to primary care and A&E. Access to telephone advice may help to avert escalation*
- Writing prescriptions*
- Answering the phone/call back for non-COVID clinical questions*
- Statutory advice e.g. safeguarding advice, LAC advice, advice to schools that remain open on managing COVID or other medical issues (EHCPs are not mentioned).
See RCPCH guidance here
- Where a decision is made to continue Serious Case Reviews and/or Child Death Overview Panels, provide support for these
- Childhood immunisations e.g.
- Clinical advice and/or programme support, releasing public health staff for COVID work*
- If a vaccine becomes available, we could be a valuable asset
- CHIS support and advice, especially call/recall systems for imms and blood spot screening (as above)
Other areas for which we have transferable skills (perhaps with some re-training). Not everyone will feel these are appropriate for their particular circumstances
- Mentoring/supporting colleagues e.g. those working outside normal skill set, juniors acting up (locally e.g. your own previous department/employer or perhaps via BMA or other support services)*
- Admission avoidance and supported discharge from hospitals – setting up systems/planning to support early paediatric discharge to release bed space.
- Helping to plan services including admission avoidance/early discharge for adults (care of the elderly has many similarities with CCH and we could perhaps support our community geriatrician colleagues with this)
- Supporting discussions on critical care/end of life decisions with patients and families alongside hospital colleagues
- Writing new guidelines/pathways e.g. COVID-related or re-designing pathways that need to be re-thought during the crisis*
- Action research/QA activities to refine the COVID response*
Lastly, when the emergency has ended, there is likely to be a large backlog of clinical work that will need extra support to get services back on track.
Advice on working remotely by phone/video
e-learning for health
(Log in, put ‘telephone’ into the search engine at the top of the homepage and it finds the session for you)
Medical Protection Society
(including a webinar for members on March 26th)
Medical Defence Union
Contractual Advice from the BMA
For retirees wanting to return to practice
- Those who relinquished their licence and/or registration in the last 3 years will have been contacted if they complied with the GMC exit procedures
- If you did not pay your exit fee, apparently you will not and may have to take steps yourself
- Advice on return including roles available here (based on the country you live in)
- Roles available include
- Face to Face
There is state indemnity but Medical Defence Organisations are offering individual indemnity to former members (arrangements vary – see links to MDOs above)