Managing Minor
Illness With Confidence

Common Condition Pathways (Published December 2016) available:

When a sick young child attends at eg. one of our general practices, it can be difficult to distinguish which of them is on the road to recovery and which is likely to require hospital treatment.  Maintaining a clinical suspicion for serious illness such as sepsis, is a key role for all of us as GPs/clinicians and has been proven to reduce the time it takes for these children to receive potentially life-saving treatment.  In addition, there is evidence which shows that most of these children have measurable clinical features quite early in the disease process.

The purpose of the Children and Young People High Volume/Urgent Care Pathways, which have just been refreshed (Publication Date: December 2016), is to enable all of us to be equipped to recognise and record these early signs and symptoms and to respond promptly.  These significant clinical events are fortunately uncommon but remain unpredictable.  May I encourage you therefore to re-look at the pathways, re-familiarise yourselves with them, and arrange for them to be made accessible throughout your practice/hospital team. Furthermore, the associated advice sheets for parents are being well received and appreciated; they remain a part of the NICE recommendation for the support we offer to these families.  It is good to be able to confirm that we have ensured we have large stocks in place so please use them! The Practices and Hospital Trusts have received Starter Packs for their information and roll out.

The letter on the back of the pathways outlines the background and including the breadth of the clinical groups, starting from 2010, who have developed them. They are based on NICE/best practice.

Most of the pathways are comprised of three elements: parental advice, a pathway for use in primary care and community settings and a pathway for use in acute (hospital) settings, as applicable. We look forward to hearing back on how the consistency of assessment and management of these children and the overall quality of practice and patient experience has been improved with this relatively simple but whole system initiative.

We hope you will introduce these resources to your local staff teams as well as patients and their families and we welcome your feedback so that we can keep constantly improving our work and the outcomes we achieve.

With kind regards


(for and on behalf of the CCG GP Clinical Leads and Multidisciplinary Pathway Development Core Group)


GP Commissioning Lead for Children and Young People, Coastal West Sussex CCG