This paper audits the telephone requests for advice to a paediatric accident and emergency (A&E) Department over a 4-week period. All calls were answered by senior nurses. Most calls were received in the early evenings when the A&E department was busy. Parents were the most frequent callers and the majority of calls were for children under 5 years of age. The problems presented were wide ranging but advice over the telephone meant that many unnecessary visits to hospital were prevented. The public use the A&E department as a primary source for health advice and very few of the calls resulted in admissions. This telephone advice service is effective and helpful to the public but time consuming for A&E nursing staff at peak workload periods in their own department.
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