Paediatric outpatient clinics: A unique case for expanded clinic provision?

Rhys Harrison, Amanda Churchill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The underlying reasons behind whether a child attends an outpatient appointment are multifactorial involving several individuals including the child, parent and wider family. Nonattendance at the children's outpatient clinics can be as high as 20%. By offering patient and parents convenient appointment times, non-attendance rates may decrease. We delivered a survey of appointment preferences to parents attending paediatric ophthalmology clinics at Bristol Eye Hospital. From the survey, the most popular times to attend clinic were Saturday daytime and Monday to Friday late afternoon (16:30'18:30) with 58% and 48%, respectively choosing these options. Evening appointments throughout the week proved unpopular and only 26% were willing to attend on a Sunday evening. Subgroup analysis by age revealed that parental preferences alter as the child grows older and that evening appointments become more attractive to parents of secondary school-aged children. For all age groups, early morning appointments (08:30'10:30) are unpopular, but this was particularly apparent in the infants subgroup. The reasons behind parental preferences were investigated. The most common reasons for evening appointments being unpopular were rush hour traffc and the child's normal bedtime routine. Forty-nine percent of parents stated that disruption to family-time made weekend appointments undesirable. We believe this study is applicable to paediatric outpatient services in the UK and highlights a desire for expansion of children's services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-395
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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