Quality statement 3: Referring children and young people for specialist care

Quality statement

Children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Rationale

Children and young people aged under 18 who are overweight or obese are at high risk of significant comorbidities. A paediatrician or GP is likely to identify those comorbidities during an initial assessment and can refer to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity for investigations and access to tier 3 services.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements and written protocols to ensure that children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities who are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Denominator – the number of children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of children and young people who are overweight or obese and have complex needs who are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who are referred to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Denominator – the number of children and young people who are overweight or obese and have complex needs.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Access to tier 3 services for children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Weight loss in children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Exclusion of underlying medical causes of obesity in children and young people who are overweight or obese.

Data source: Local data collection.

d) Treatment of comorbidity in children and young people who are overweight or obese.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as primary care, community care and paediatric services) ensure that children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs and have been referred to the service have access to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs and paediatricians) ensure that they refer children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Commissioners (clinical commissioning groups) ensure that they commission locally available services that have access to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity for children and young people who are overweight or obese and have significant comorbidities or complex needs.

What the quality statement means for patients and carers

Children and young people who are overweight or obese and have another medical condition or a special need such as a learning disability are offered referral to a paediatrician with a special interest in obesity.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

BMI centile

BMI measurement in children and young people should be related to the UK 1990 BMI charts to give age- and gender-specific information. BMI centiles can be identified using the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's UK-WHO growth charts.

[Adapted from Obesity: identification, assessment and management (NICE guideline CG189), recommendation 1.2.12]

Significant comorbidities

These include benign intracranial hypertension, sleep apnoea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, hyperinsulinaemia, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, orthopaedic problems and psychological morbidity.

[Management of obesity: a national clinical guideline (SIGN), section 19.2.3 and expert opinion]

Complex needs

These include learning disabilities, chronic illness, physical disability and other additional needs.

[Obesity: identification, assessment and management (2014) NICE guideline CG189, recommendation 1.3.10 and expert opinion]