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Safety netting in healthcare settings: what it means, and for whom?
  1. Damian Roland1,
  2. Caroline Jones2,
  3. Sarah Neill3,
  4. Matthew Thompson2,
  5. Monica Lakhanpaul4
  1. 1Paediatric Emergency Medicine Leicester Academic (PEMLA) Group, Cardiovascular Sciences, Leicester University, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  3. 3School of Health, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK
  4. 4General and Adolescent Paediatrics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Damian Roland, Emergency Medicine Academic Group, Emergency Department Secretaries, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK; dr98{at}


Everyday thousands of children are presented to health care practitioners by concerned parents with the vast majority being simple self-limiting illness. However serious bacterial illness, chronic inflammatory conditions and mental health problems are repeatedly missed with significant morbidity, mortality, financial and social implications. A conceptual framework detailing the mechanism of effective Safety Netting has yet to be described however and there is increasing evidence parents want guidance on when to seek medical advice (a key part of safety netting) prior to initial consultation. This article explores current understanding of safety netting in relation to child health and argues there is a need to develop a more standardised approach.

  • Health Service
  • Paediatric Practice
  • Outcomes Research

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