Online guidance available to help poorly children over the festive season

Helpful advice and guidance is now available online to help support parents and carers when children are poorly, providing a useful health tool over the festive season.

These ‘pathways’ provide support for families by providing answers to frequently asked questions on a number of common childhood ailments. The run up to Christmas is often a very busy time for families and the advice and guidance includes clear step by step assistance and currently covers the following conditions:

 

  • High temperatures
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Coughs, colds and breathing difficulties
  • Constipation

These ailments commonly affect children’s health but families are often unsure of when various symptoms can just be managed at home, or when they are more serious and require further input from health professionals.

These ‘pathways’ clarify when professional help is needed in addition to also preparing families of what to expect if they need to visit and contact health services.

Dr Amanda Boardman, GP lead for Children and Safeguarding for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

“These pathways are excellent guides allowing both parents and professionals to use the same guidance. They are a vital reference tool when your child is ill, as people are often unsure when to seek help and when a condition will just settle itself on its own. “Professionals and families can also use them as learning tools, so they can share their experiences and discuss how to manage certain conditions and avoid them occurring in the first place. The pathways are led by ‘Health Builders’ which is a movement to transform services for children's health across the county and they lead on the design and delivery of them.

“By bringing together organisations and professionals in Cumbria, we are looking at how we can further improve the experiences that children, young people and families have when using local health services. These pathways are part of this solution and provide useful information, better signposting and more reassurance to parents and carers.”
 

Consultant Paediatrician Dr Glyn Jones, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“These guidelines will be very helpful in supporting parents and health professionals manage common acute health conditions that affect children with consistency and confidence. Helping children get the right care at the right time in the right place.

“They have been carefully devised by experienced professionals with the aim of empowering parents and carers of children in the community to manage illness in babies and children when they do not need an admission to hospital.”

 

 

  • The pathways can be accessed on the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group website at: www.cumbriaccg.nhs.uk/childadvice
  • There is also the option to view the pathways as pdf files allowing the pathways to be printed if required.

In January 2017, all GP practices in Cumbria will also have access to the ‘Ill Child Traffic Light Toolkit’ which aims to support GPs, Nurse Practitioners and Pharmacists in assessing poorly children and help them to decide the best course of action. It will provide a common assessment tool for referrals in relation to observation and assessment and aims to improve dialogue with both medics and parents/carers.