Girl with asthma

Urgent paediatric referrals

Please see our guidelines before referring a patient to our Emergency Department for common medical conditions.

Our downloadable guidelines are intended to act as a quick reference guide to some of the most common medical conditions for unscheduled healthcare attendances in children and young people (ages 0-16).

Management and referral guidelines - Top 20 paediatric outpatient conditions [pdf] 847KB ​​​​​

Assessment guidelines 

These guidelines are aimed to assist primary care professionals when treating children and guide appropriate escalation. Parent/carer information leaflets are also available below.

The assessment tools have been written in response to a steady increase in the number of referrals for urgent assessment from primary to secondary care. Our shared priority is to ensure our patients and families have the most appropriate patient journey.

Use of these tools will allow:


  • Empowerment of primary care clinicians to confidently make appropriate decisions about referral of patients for urgent secondary care assessment
  • Empowerment of parents and carers to understand when it is necessary to seek further help and when care for their unwell child can safely be managed at home


  • These tools allow primary and secondary care clinicians to use a common language when discussing the most frequent paediatric presentations to urgent care
  • The tools provide consistency of information to our parents and carers whether they present to primary care, Birmingham Children's Hospital Emergency Department or via secondary care referral to our General Paediatrics department

The tools will help us to work together across the boundaries of primary and secondary care with a shared purpose for the benefit of patients and their families.

All assessment tools in one document[pdf] 2MB