Taking care of your child’s health
All parents and carers of children and young people should have access to the right support, says Dr Uzma Sarwar, Clinical Director for Luton Clinical Commissioning Group. Taking care of a child’s health is a great responsibility, and sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do or where to go for the best. Here are some healthcare services available for your little wonders….
Please remember that, if you think your child urgently needs medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation you can use the NHS111 service for free. Your call will be answered by a trained operative who has access to clinical staff (doctors and nurses) and will advise you on what to do for the best. The advisors are able to assess your child’s symptoms and if necessary can book you to see a clinician face to face, possibly at the Luton Urgent Treatment Centre. This may well be quicker and more appropriate than attending your local A & E Department. Remember NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Using a pharmacist as a first point of contact when your child is unwell is often the best thing to do. Pharmacies are open until late and at weekends and an appointment is not needed. Pharmacists can help with minor ailments, can give medical advice and help with medicines. There are approx. 52 pharmacies in Luton and many open late in the evening, at weekends and bank holidays.
Your GP Practice
A great way to access GP Services at your practice is to sign up to GP online. Once registered you’ll be able to use a website or app to:
- book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse
- order repeat prescriptions online
- view parts of your GP record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results
- view clinical correspondence such as hospital discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters and referral letters
- The service is free and available to everyone who is registered with a GP.
For most minor illnesses, usual winter bugs and minor cuts, self-care at home is the best choice for your family. A well-stocked medicine cabinet can cost as little as £6. It should include essential items like pain relief medication, a thermometer, bandages and some plasters. These items will help get your little ones back on their feet within a few days, avoiding unnecessary trips to your GP or to A&E.
Advice on Childhood ailments
To help you, Luton’s children’s services team have put together some leaflets with help and advice about some of the most common childhood ailments. They are available to view or download from the CCG’s website www.lutonccg.nhs.uk
For immediate life-threatening emergencies, call 999 or attend your local Emergency Department.
So remember there is lots of support out there when your child is feeling unwell and accessing care in the right place will help you get your little one back to full health quickly.