General Practice Liaison Program

Children’s Health Queensland’s General Practice Liaison Program aims to improve the interface between the community and hospital health sectors, thereby optimising the care of children in Queensland.

General practitioners (GPs or family doctors) are the health care providers most commonly seen by children and their families. They provide continuing, comprehensive care within the communities in which children live. GPs are also the primary gatekeepers for services at The Queensland Children’s Hospital, with most of the referrals received by the hospital coming from general practice.

Recognising the central role of the GP in a child’s health care delivery, the Queensland Children’s Hospital will usually refer patients back to the care of their GP after discharge. As such, Children’s Health Queensland strives to work closely with the general practice community, to ensure the safest, most effective and efficient connected care for our patients.

We do this by continually reviewing and improving our communication with GPs, providing education to build capacity within the primary care sector, and through identifying service gaps and looking for ways to address these.

Consultation with general practice occurs through our General Practice Liaison Officers, focus groups, and our close ties to the Primary Health Networks. Our education events are accredited with the RACGP and ACRRM.

Working with GPs

Children’s Health Queensland General Practice Liaison Program can help Children’s Health Queensland staff with promoting new services or referral processes to GPs, developing referring guidelines and providing education relevant to the GP community. Contact us to see how we can help.

GP education

  • Sydney Child Health Program
  • Grand rounds – GPs are able to log in via teleconference and participate in Grand Rounds at the Queensland Children’s Hospital every Wednesday from 7:45am – 9:00am or view previous Grand Rounds online. To participate, you can apply for a log in by emailing chq_medical_education@health.qld.gov.au with the following details:
    • name
    • work email address
    • name of practice/organisation
    • contact telephone number.
  • Conferences and seminars
  • The annual Paediatric Masterclass for General Practice
  • E-newsletter – Our ‘Developments’ e-newsletter is written by our GP Liaison team, and provides GPs from across Queensland and northern NSW with the latest education events, referral guidelines, updates to clinics and services, as well as articles of interest about the health of children and young people.

Finding a GP for a patient – tips for healthcare professionals

The GP role is essential to child and family wellbeing, and there is good evidence that continuity of care results in better health outcomes and higher patient satisfaction. GPs are ideally placed to provide this continuity, especially for complex patients with multiple teams.

You can find a GP for a patient by:

  • Asking friends or family members who they recommend. If you are looking for a GP who speaks a certain language or who understands your culture, ask people in your community about who they recommend.
  • Asking your child health nurse.
  • Searching online using
    Healthdirect
    – Google or other search engines
  • Calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

If you are looking for a new GP for a child with complex care needs, you may wish to consider the following points about practices you have identified using the above search methods:

  • Discuss with the parent/carer to ensure the proposed practices are conveniently located for your patient.
  • General practices in Australia often charge an out of pocket cost, although some make exceptions to this and may bulk bill children, those from a disadvantaged background, or those with complex healthcare needs. Check with the practice and ensure the family’s financial capacity matches the practice policy. Important considerations are the preparedness of the practice to provide continuity, enough time with the patient, and to deal with complexity.
  • Phone and ask to speak to the practice nurse. Discuss with the nurse which GP might be the best fit for that patient at that clinic, their approach to chronic disease management, and whether they are able to coordinate a team care management plan for your patient. Ask if any of the doctors have additional training in paediatrics.
  • The local practice will be able to provide referral networks for allied health and paediatricians based on their local knowledge. This helps ensure clarity of communication between the child’s treating team and keeps care closer to home.
  • Once you have identified an appropriate practice and GP for the family, ensure the family have their details, and provide a comprehensive handover of clinical care by sending a detailed letter, follow-up plan and copies of relevant investigations.
  • GPs are ideally placed to provide continuity of care, especially for complex patients with multiple teams. Involving the GP in regular communication and invitations to dial-in or telehealth in to case conferences will help with the effective transition from paediatric specialist care.

Referral Enquiries

To speak with a staff member about progress of referrals,
Please call 1300 762 831 where you call will be answered by a senior call centre
staff member and if required transferred to a member of the referral room nursing team.

Contact us

For more information about the General Practice Liaison Program
email Dr Aaron Chambers
e: CHQ.GPLO@health.qld.gov.au

Useful links

Conferences and seminars
The annual Paediatric Masterclass for General Practice