This study investigated possible associations between ethnic background of referred children and non-attendance, referrer type, problem type, age and gender. The sample consisted of 769 children offered outpatient appointments. Ethnic background influenced referrer type. Over-referrals against expectations were: White children more by GPs than expected, Black and South Asian children by specialist doctors, Black children by education services and Mixed Race children by social services. There was neither a significant difference in ethnic background between attendees and non-attendees nor were gender, age or problem types related to ethnic group. Clinicians should be aware that referral routes may appropriately, or inappropriately, be different for different ethnic groups. Differences found may be due to genuine variations in morbidity, thus leading to presentation to different referrers.