Nurse hotline fails to divert parents from ED

A large proportion of parents whose children have non-urgent conditions are being told by telehealth nurses to go to hospital EDs, a study suggests.

The NURSE-ON-CALL service in Victoria takes around 1000 calls a day, but it has been suggested it needs to change the algorithms used to determine advice so that more low-acuity children are referred to primary care services rather than EDs.

A survey has found that some 80% of parents taking children with a triage category of four or five to EDs are not using the telehealth service. Of these parents, 16% said they