COVID-19: Community Paediatrics service guide

Updated: November 2020


This information provides guidance on the management of paediatric patients across Plymouth and West Devon during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • with developmental or neurodevelopmental conditions,
  • with long-term medical conditions who receive support from the Children's Community Nursing team, or
  • who receive support from the Paediatric Bladder and Bowel Care Team

The information is based on wider United University Hospitals Plymouth and Torbay & South Devon NHS Trusts policies and guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health. This guide is for young people seen by the Community Paediatric services in Plymouth and West Devon (based at the Child Development Centre in Plymouth).

It is important for children and young people that possible serious illness continues to be recognised, referred on and will be seen where clinically appropriate.

National guidance:

Conditions with specific guidance

Assessment for neurodevelopmental conditions including autism and ADHD:

Assessments for possible neurodevelopment conditions involve a large amount of face-to-face contact with young people, and also require observations & assessment to take place in multiple settings. Inevitably these assessments have been impacted by the current government restrictions. We will seek to progress and conclude assessments at the earliest opportunity. We are still accepting referrals and making effort to give more urgent advice where relevant.

Psychological Health & Wellbeing:

The work of our Clinical Psychologists and Wellbeing Practitioners is reliant on a developed relationship with a young person and their family. This is more difficult to build by telephone. The team are continuing to support families who are already open to their service via video and telephone appointments if possible. If not possible, this work will be put on hold. They are also supporting the wider team to ensure resources are available for young people who may be experiencing anxiety associated with COVID-19. The team are unlikely to be able to take on any new pieces of work at the present time.

Please see separate guidance in relation to CAMHS and other Children Family Health Devon services.

Paediatric Bladder and Bowel Care Team:

The Bladder and Bowel care team are continuing to support new and existing patients by means of telephone consultation appointments, unless there is an identified clinical need that required the child to be seen face-to-face. Due to restrictions around face-to-face contact our flow study and bladder emptying scan clinics have been postponed unless an urgent clinical need has been identified. Therefore initiation of some treatments will be put on hold for now and reassessed when adequate monitoring facilities are available.

Please see the following resources for more information:

NICE guideline for the management of constipation in children [CG99]NICE guideline for bedwetting in under 19's [CG111]ERIC – the Children's bowel and bladder charityBladder and bowel UK

Urgent referrals

Regression in developmental skills:

If infants and children are presenting with regression in their developmental skills, then this should be clearly highlighted within their referral. These young people may require a more urgent face-to-face appointment.

Routine referrals

Referrals to Community Paediatrics service will continue to be accepted as normal, with appointments predominantly taking place by telephone or video consultation. However, there may be delays in aspects of our service which require a face-to-face appointment such as assessments for neurodevelopment conditions.

We may still, where it is felt necessary, request additional information from schools to assess whether referrals are appropriate for our service. Whilst we appreciate that school are not functioning as normal, staff should be available for administrative purpose throughout the COVID-19 restrictions. We are also continuing to liaise with other services across Plymouth and West Devon to discuss referrals where appropriate.

The Children's Community Nursing team and Paediatric Diabetes service continue to accept appropriate referrals from colleagues at Derriford.

The Paediatric Bladder and Bowel Care team continue to accept appropriate referrals from GP's, Public Health Nurses and staff at the hospitals with appointments predominantly taking place via telephone consultation. The need for a face-to-face appointment will be assessed on an individual basis

Urgent advice

Advice continues to be available from our services as normal. We would ask that, as usual, requests to expedite appointments are put in writing with appropriate justification.

Advice & Guidance

As above, advice continues to be available from our service as usual. We are seeking to liaise with young people and families via telephone consultation or video calls where this is appropriate and are happy to make contact with professionals by the same methods.

General patient queries can be directed to this address can be shared with families, offering a single point of contact for all of the Community Paediatric services in the trust.

Covid 19 High risk patient advice

Young people will not be seen in clinic if they or their family are currently isolating or shielding. Contact can be made via telephone.

If contact is required (for example, patients with long-term conditions known to our Community Nursing team) then this can be arranged at the patient's home, with clinicians having access to appropriate PPE.

Plymouth Community Paediatrics contact information

This e-mail address is the preferred route for routine queries, particularly if families are not able to contact their regular clinician

Supporting Information

The following organisations are collating resources for young people with special educational needs and disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Pathway Group

This guideline has been signed off on behalf of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Last updated: 13-11-2020


Home > Refer-CV19 CRGs > Western CRGs > COVID-19: Community Paediatrics service guide


  • First line
  • Second line
  • Specialist
  • Hospital