Information provided here is a guide only, to help you to better understand the assessment process and consultation booking system, as all doctors practice independently, and their individual services will vary.

What to bring: Medicare card is required at all appointments for verification of patient and carer identity. If the person bringing the child is not on the medicare card, additional ID may be needed. 

Please bring any school/ allied health or medical reports or updates not previously provided.

Initial assessment and developmental assessment appointments are generally allocated 1 hour time slots, which includes 50 minutes spent with your doctor, and the remaining (10 minutes) time prior/ after your consultation is allocated for your doctor to collate information and complete their notes/ dictate a letter back to the referrer. Your paediatrician may spend time reading paperwork provided, prior to bringing you and your child into the clinic room.

As there is usually a lot of additional information for the doctor to read and consider when formulating a diagnosis and management plan, the Paediatric Consultation fees you are charged reflect the doctors' additional time spent outside of the time you are in the clinic room or telehealth appointment with them.

Feedback and management planning consultations are 45 - 60 minutes long, following a comprehensive developmental assessment. This is when a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment and management plans are confirmed, and often referrals are then provided on to allied health and other professionals to help start therapy for a child's complex (neurodevelopmental +/- multiple medical issues) condition. A written report is usually provided following this, which summarises assessment conclusions and management plan recommendations.

Comprehensive review appointments (45 minutes) may be offered or needed in some cases, during which further assessments by the doctor, counselling (eg. behaviour management/ emotional regulation/ developmental support strategies) and follow-up case management services are provided.

Standard review appointments (30 minutes) are scheduled for 25 minutes to be spent with your and your child, which includes time for standard examination, test ordering and review, and medication management, with the remaining (5 minutes) time allocated for the doctor to complete their notes and dictate a letter back to your referrer.

Short review appointments (15-20 minutes) are scheduled for single issue review, e.g. to provide results and advice regarding the results, or medication discussions and provision of medication scripts.

Telehealth consultations are available, with different medicare rebates available for video consults (zoom) and telephone consults.

Quick script-only, simple results and advice consults can be offered by telephone consultation, at the doctor's discretion.

The doctors legally require some periodic face to face appointments with Paediatric patients to check their growth measures and examine general health/ BP etc.., so a member of the admin team or your doctor will advise when a telehealth consultation is not appropriate, and that a consultation in clinic is required.

What to expect of Developmental/ Behavioural Appointments

A number of appointments are scheduled at the beginning, for referrals which include developmental/ behavioural concerns.

Your first visit is for your Developmental Paediatrician to meet you and your child, and to understand your concerns. The Paediatrician will aim to formulate an understanding about what is happening by gathering further information about your child's health, developmental and behavioural issues including past and current progress, family history (including parents' health and educational histories if relevant), and through doing a physical examination and/or developmental screen.

The number of appointments we require to proceed to a 'formulation', which provides an understanding of your child's difficulties, the causes and contributing factors, and what may assist them, also called a 'diagnosis and treatment / management plan', depends on the information already available, and how complicated and numerous the issues are.

If you are seeking a second opinion or ongoing care for a condition previously diagnosed by another Paediatrician or allied health professional (eg. psychologist/ OT), your Paediatrician may still want to make their own assessment and formulation. In some cases this includes a review of previous diagnoses which may result in a change of diagnosis, in order to help your child with the most appropriate management plan that fits their ongoing issues and support needs.

There may not be a 'diagnosis' or immediate treatment plan to communicate to you at the end of the first appointment, but your Paediatrician will advise you regarding recommended next steps, e.g. if they need to do further developmental assessments, medical tests or referrals for further allied health assessments or other specialist care, and will outline the necessary follow-up appointments required. Your Paediatrician may provide an initial discussion regarding possible diagnosis and/ or treatment options and information for you to read and consider/ discuss, enabling you to make informed decisions regarding starting treatment(s) in the follow-up visit.

The second visit is generally for your Developmental Paediatrician to finish developmental assessment, or to put together an explanation of what is going on, and to discuss with you what can be done to help you and your child.

If further developmental assessment is required to be done by your Paediatrician in the second scheduled visit, they will then usually also request a 'feedback' third appointment to share with you their diagnosis/ formulation and discuss the treatment and management plan.

Please note that the time allocated to these initial assessment and management planning visits (1 hour appointment times) includes the time taken to read information provided, complete assessments and for your paediatrician to complete notes and dictate a letter of consultation back to the referring Dr. This means that the face-to-face time with you in the consultation will be shorter than 60 minutes (approximately 50 minutes).

Paediatrician Reports/ Letters: After the full assessment is completed, your Paediatrician will complete a report of their formulation/ diagnosis and management plan, and provide this letter summarising the assessment findings and agreed plan, addressed to your referring doctor, with a copy also provided to you or whomever is identified as the child's parents or caregivers/ designated legal guardians. If there are court orders regarding the child's legal guardians, please advise the administration staff regarding the recipients of this report. In the case of separated parents with shared custody/ decision-making responsibilities for the child, we may be legally obliged to share the report with both parents, even if only one parent attended the consultations.

This report may be shared with other parties (such as school staff) if you and your Paediatrician mutually agree. Special letters outside of this consultation report, written specifically for schools/ NDIS and other third parties, require additional work from your Paediatrician, and may incure a small further charge, depending on the nature and complexity of the letter required. You can discuss specific reports/ forms needed with your doctor and/or a member of the administration team, who can provide further information about whether additional costs will be incured for this extra service.