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Parents are reminded to choose the right NHS service when their child gets ill

Doctors in Lancashire are reminding parents to be aware of the whole range of NHS services available to them when their children become ill and to make sure they choose the best one for their child’s needs.

Choosing the right service can sometimes be difficult 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.

Dr David White, Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

“Every parent wants their child to 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.”

Parents are encouraged to choose wisely when they need help for their child and 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 your local minor injuries unit or urgent care centre for injuries such as …….
  • 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.

The ‘Common childhood illness’ booklet is a great source of reference for parents of small children. This booklet can be viewed on both CCGs websites:

https://eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/patient-information/your-health/children-and-young-people-s-health/childhood-illnesses

http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/health/child-health/childhood-illness-guidance-booklet/

Dr White added:

“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. A trained adviser will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for your needs.”