Acting Darling Downs Health Service chief executive Annette Scott (Photo: DDH)

October 5, 2021

Darling Downs Health has partnered with Cub Care to pilot an online paediatric consultation program as an alternative to taking children to Emergency.

Acting Health Service Chief Executive Annette Scott said the program gives carers another option to seek medical advice for children, rather than waiting in hospital emergency departments.

“Cub Care will offer a virtual clinic so families can access specialist children’s emergency doctors to treat children outside of the Emergency Department,” Ms Scott said.

“It’s another option for families who think they might need to go to the Emergency Department that evening, rather than physically presenting to ED.

“All they will have to do is go to the website, enter some basic details and then we will be able to perform a secure consult with one of the Cub Care doctors via video.

“From there it’s like visiting a doctor in person.

“They’ll ask you questions, discuss your concerns, and come up with a plan that works for you. After the call, the specialist doctor will check back in to make sure the patient is going ok.”

The custom Cub Care virtual ward web platform enables the team to follow up via text during the evening, provide prescriptions, pathology, x-ray, and other scan requests.

The expert paediatric clinicians can get a lot of information from observation of children and their behaviour via a video consultation.

The team can also help guide carers to assist with the physical exam and in many circumstances can manage the child at home. If the clinician feels that the child needs an in-person review they can give advice about the seriousness of the issue and where and how to urgently seek help.

“All of the clinicians working for Cub Care have significant paediatric emergency experience, which means that they are specially trained to care and treat children and adolescents. The available clinician will generally be a paediatric emergency physician or a general paediatrician with significant emergency experience,” Ms Scott said.

Cub Care founder Chris Horwill said the company was looking forward to supporting paediatric specialist access to the Darling Down’s region.

“A collaboration with Darling Downs Health is extremely exciting for us. We look forward to using technology to support paediatric specialist services to the region,” he said.

The service began this month for children and adolescents aged 0-16.

It is open from 4:00pm to 10:00pm every day.

Parents and carers should always ring Triple 0 for children who need immediate life-saving care.

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