Paediatric teaching and training for GP trainees: the perceived adequacy in preparing for the assessment of children in primary care.


  • Rebecca Bradford-Duarte Darent Valley Hospital
  • Dawn Wood University of Dundee


Paediatrics, Child health, Primary care, General practice, Teaching hospitals, Qualitative research



Children make up a high proportion of a General Practitioner’s workload. It is imperative that GPs in training are confident in the assessment of an acutely unwell child. It is not compulsory for a GP trainee to have a paediatric placement and many express lack of confidence in assessing young people. Improved confidence could prevent unnecessary secondary care referrals.



The study aimed to understand the GP trainees:

  • Perceived quality of paediatric teaching and training
  • Confidence in the assessment of a septic child
  • Needs to improve the paediatric training provided



Using qualitative methodology, 12 GP trainees  who rotate through the paediatric department for a four month placement were recruited. Data collection included:

  • Beginning and end of placement questionnaires
  • Small group interviews

Framework analysis was used to identify key themes and areas of training which are adequate and those requiring improvement.



The placement was reported to be invaluable and supportive. Local teaching and simulation were reported to be of high quality. Newborn examinations and clerking patients on the assessment unit were viewed as providing important transferable skills. The trainees’ self-reported confidence and recognition of sepsis improved. The areas identified for improvement included: needing more senior support on the postnatal ward and GP-specific teaching.



GP trainees reported increased confidence and found the exposure invaluable and transferable to their needs. Confidence was reported to be increased in newborn examinations, recording vital signs and the recognition of sepsis. Implementation of areas for improvement identified would benefit the trainees.







Author Biography

Dawn Wood, University of Dundee

Postgraduate Medicine Tutor


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How to Cite

Bradford-Duarte, R., & Wood, D. (2023). Paediatric teaching and training for GP trainees: the perceived adequacy in preparing for the assessment of children in primary care . London Paediatrics, 4. Retrieved from



Original Research