What should safety net advice include?
  • The existence of uncertainty. If the diagnosis is uncertain, that uncertainty should be communicated to the patient (or parent/carer) so that they are empowered to reconsult if necessary.

  • What exactly to look out for. If there is a recognised risk of deterioration or complications developing then the safety-net advice should include the specific clinical features (including red flags) that the patient (or parent/carer) should look out for.

  • How exactly to seek further help. Safety-net advice should give specific guidance on how and where to seek further help if needed.

  • What to expect about time course. Where information about the likely time course of illness is known, safety-net advice should include this information. However, it should be made clear that if a patient (parent/carer) has concerns they should not delay seeking further medical advice.

What should be recorded?
  • Safety-net advice should be documented in the medical notes.

  • There was no consensus on when and whether safety-net advice should be given in written format rather than verbally.