GPs in Lancashire are reminding parents to be aware of the full range of NHS services available to them when their children become ill – to make sure they choose the best one for their needs.
It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do for the best when a child comes down with an illness or suffers an injury, but there are a number of different options available from the NHS to suit different circumstances.
Parents can ensure their children receive the best advice or treatment for a variety of symptoms and conditions by being fully aware of their choices and when to use them.
Dr Phil Huxley, local GP, and Chair of NHS East Lancashire CCG said:
“Every parent wants to know that their child will receive the very best care that’s available when they become ill or hurt themselves – but they may not be aware of the variety of NHS services that are available to help them in times of need.
“Your local pharmacist, for example, can offer advice for a range of minor illnesses which are best taken care of at home – including the coughs, colds and sore throats which are particularly common at this time of year.”
Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:
“If you have a problem while your GP or pharmacist is closed you can call 111, the NHS’s non-emergency number which is available 24 hours a day and free to call from mobiles and landlines. Here you can talk to a highly trained adviser who will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for your needs.
“For other minor injuries or illnesses that won’t wait until your GP surgery is open, you can access a wealth of information and resources online at www.nhs.uk.”
There is an excellent interactive guide on both CCG websites, which covers things like:
- Teething problems
- Dry skin and rashes
- Ear problems
- Chicken pox and measles
- Bumps and bruises
- Coughs and colds
This guide can be be viewed at: http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/health/child-health/childhood-illness-guidance-booklet/ & http://eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/patient-information/your-health/children-and-young-people-s-health/childhood-illnesses
To make sure they can choose wisely when they need help for their child, parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these NHS services.
- Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. The service is available 24 hours a day and calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You can also call NHS 111 if you’re not sure which NHS service you need.
- Visit a, your local minor injuries unit or urgent care centre if you have a minor injury and it won’t wait until your GP surgery is open. Visit nhs.uk and type in your postcode or town to find your nearest urgent care facility.
- Ask your local pharmacist for advice on common minor illnesses such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, travel advice or sore throats.
- See your GP if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency.
- Only visit A&E for life-threatening emergencies.
For more information on choosing the right NHS service for your needs this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywellthiswinter & http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/health/child-health/childhood-illness-guidance-booklet/