Experienced, comprehensive paediatric care by a paediatrician who lives and works in the local community.

We understand the crucial central role that general practitioners and Maternal and Child Health nurses play in the journey of families before, during and after the childhood period. Families have entrusted their children to you as their primary health carer and in turn it is essential that you can trust in us. We aim to work in partnership with the family and referrers to provide comprehensive, integrated care and recognise the importance of timely communication and accessibility to achieve this.

Dr. Cathy Coates has an ongoing appointment in the paediatric Emergency Department of Monash Medical Centre where she has worked as the consultant-in-charge on a regular basis for the last 9 years, whilst also working as a general paediatrician at Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) as her “day job”. She was the Clinical Lead in Paediatrics at LRH from January 2017 to November 2018 and the combination of her experience in both acute and ambulatory general paediatrics is a unique skill set, with families being able to access streamlined care for all forms of acute and ambulatory paediatric conditions.

referral form

For Urgent Appointments

We recognise the difficulty in achieving rapid, experienced review for children with acute medical issues, with often the only option being referral to an Emergency Department which frequently results in either a lengthy wait to be seen, review by a very inexperienced doctor or significant expense for the family if they choose to attend a private Emergency Department.

For children with an acute medical issue that would benefit from specialist review within 24-72 hours, please contact our practice to discuss. To minimise waiting times for health professionals, we offer a dedicated doctor’s phone line.

We are only able to book patients into the Rapid Review Clinic after we have received a direct referral from their general practitioner or eligible midwife with a direct verbal/phone referral to be forwarded to us as well. We know how important your time is and anticipate that this process should not take more than 5 minutes with your patient then having a booked urgent review. We will communicate the outcome of the appointment to you and any follow-up required by phone and/or letter.



Fairfield Paediatrics is a private specialist paediatric clinic and we do not offer bulk-billing.

A new referral is required whenever the child’s condition has changed or a new illness or issue develops. We suggest a new referral is obtained every 12 months as the vast majority of children have had a change in their condition or a new concern arise in that time period and we are unable to see the child without a valid referral.

Absolutely, we welcome referrals from eligible midwives.

If you assess the child as requiring urgent review, please follow your usual procedures and call an ambulance or refer the child to the nearest Emergency Department with paediatric facilities.

The Rapid Review Clinic is for children who are medically stable at the time you see them but may deteriorate (eg bronchiolitis) or a lengthy delay for specialist review may worsen the child’s condition (eg failure to thrive in a young infant).

Conditions which are suitable for the Rapid Review Clinic include:

  • Acute bronchiolitis in an infant >6 weeks corrected age and >4kg with no current obvious clinical signs of dehydration, no history suggestive of central apnoea, is taking at least 50% of their usual volume of feeds and has an oxygen saturation of  >92% in room air
  • Acute asthma exacerbation in a child who does not require salbutamol more often than 3-hourly, please commence 3 day course of steroids (2mg/kg day 1, 1mg/kg/day thereafter) if clinically indicated
  • Acute gastroenteritis in a child >6 months corrected age assessed as having no current clinical signs of dehydration and tolerating some oral fluids other than water only (water only has risk of inducing ketotic hypoglycaemia, particularly in young children)
  • First afebrile seizure with no focal neurological signs and complete recovery following the seizure
  • Simple febrile convulsion (no more than 1 in the same illness episode)  in a child between the ages of 12 months to 4 years with complete recovery afterwards and otherwise medically stable
  • Birthmarks
  • Exacerbation of eczema without obvious cellulitis, systemic signs (eg fever) and assessed as unlikely to be eczema herpeticum.   Please take bacterial and viral swabs and commence antibiotic/antiviral treatment if clinically indicated in the interim
  • Likely transient synovitis in young child with viral prodrome, fever <38 degrees, systemically well and able to weightbear
  • Blanching rash in otherwise well child
  • Failure to thrive in an otherwise healthy looking infant
  • Suspicion of possible cow’s milk protein intolerance
  • Excessively unsettled/irritable infant
  • Other conditions may be appropriate but will require discussion with the paediatrician

No – the Rapid Review Clinic is for acute issues only, please advise parents of this.  We will be more than happy to offer an appointment to address other medical, developmental or behavioural issues at a later time but another referral will be required.

No – it is essential you phone the practice to determine if your patient is suitable for the clinic and to obtain all necessary patient details, test results etc.  On request we can provide you with a dedicated phone number to call to streamline the process but kindly ask that this number not be given to families. A brief written referral will also be required, this can be faxed, e-mailed or uploaded via our website. Please give a copy of the referral to the family as well.

Yes – for appropriate families, we welcome the opportunity to provide a Telehealth service.   Please contact us to discuss.

Absolutely – Fairfield Paediatrics highly values continuing medical education and recognises the crucial role general practitioners, eligible midwives and Maternal and Child Health nurses play in the lives of families.  We will be offering regular educational opportunities, please let us know of any topics you would particularly like covered.

Mental Health Referrals

Fairfield Paediatrics is a specialist paediatric practice with a particular focus on acute medical issues and long-term behavioural and developmental needs. For patients with an uncomplicated mental health condition, eg anxiety, we request in the first instance they be referred to a psychologist, paediatric psychiatrist or outpatient mental health service such as Headspace, CAMHS etc.  If you would like any advice about potential options, please contact us to discuss.

For children with complex mental health conditions or comorbid medical conditions, please refer them to both Fairfield Paediatrics and an appropriate mental health provider. We are unable to accept referrals for mental health conditions where no other support has yet been put in place for the family.

Ready to proceed?

Complete our referral form on behalf of your patient.

referral form