Background: Early and effective identification of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders remains a critical task of all pediatric healthcare professionals, which is critical to the well-being of children and their families.
Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of all preschool children referred to a Child Development Centre (CDC) in North-West England, over a six-month period between Sept 2014 and Feb 2015 was conducted. The local multi-professional approach to the clinical assessment and management of preschool children was described and the published literature on this topic was reviewed.
Results: Twenty four different categories of professionals spanning the whole range of primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare, social care and educational services were involved in the management of the patients. The largest group of professionals was the primary healthcare specialists. The ten different primary care professionals managed an average of 42% of the patients.
The secondary healthcare providers were involved in the care of an average of 17%, tertiary care providers 10%, educational specialists 25% and social care professionals were involved with 5% of all the patients.
The commonest diagnostic disorders were Speech/Language delay (56%), Global developmental delay (33%), Behavior difficulties (26%), Social communication concerns (21%) and Autistic spectrum disorder (19%).
Conclusion: The high number and specialties of various healthcare professionals at all levels of care indicates the high social and economic investment required in managing the affected preschool children in the region. Childhood neurodevelopmental disorders in the preschool age represents a high level of public health significance.