Launch of common childhood illness guidance handbook

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Local parents, grandparents and carers across mid Essex are now able to seek guidance from a new advice booklet for when their child becomes ill.

The Common Childhood Illnesses and Wellbeing handbook is an extensive and informative guide for anyone who cares for a child aged from birth to 11 years old. It gives advice on how to spot signs of illness and what to do for minor conditions such as coughs and colds, fever, dry skin and rashes, chicken pox, bumps and bruises.

Information on mental health and wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and advice on some more serious conditions like meningitis and sepsis is also covered in the booklet. There’s also a handy section on when you should keep your child home from school.

Dr Caroline Dollery, Chair of Mid Essex CCG and a GP in Danbury, said: “When a child falls ill, a lot of parents and carers naturally become very anxious and unsure about what they should do or which health service to access.

“This new guide is an extremely informative and beneficial resource on how to deal with the most common illnesses in young children. It can be used to learn how to care for a child at home, when to call a doctor and when to contact emergency services alongside other useful local information and contacts.

“A lot of hard work and effort has gone into producing the guide but it has been extremely worthwhile and I am sure local parents, grandparents and carers will benefit from it.”

A series of free workshops hosted by local GPs and clinicians have also been planned to accompany the launch of the guide which anyone is welcome to attend.

Both the workshops and guide are part of the CCGs wider strategy to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate hospital attendances for pediatric patients allowing the pediatric team to care for and treat those patients that really need to be in A&E.

In 2015/16, the CCG spent more than £1 million in relation to children attending Broomfield Hospital A&E where no investigation was carried out and no treatment was given – just advice and guidance. The projected cost for advice given in A&E could increase this year (2016/17) to £1.8 million.

Click here to download an electronic version of the guide.

Dates and times of workshops

Monday 21st November 2016 Plume Community Academy, Fambridge Road, Maldon, Essex, CM9 6AB 6:00pm to 7:30pm Reserve place
Tuesday 22nd November 2016 Marconi Social Club, Tydemans
off Beehive Lane, Chelmsford,
Essex, CM2 9FH
12:30pm to 2:00pm Reserve place
Tuesday 22nd November 2016 Tabor Academy Panfield Lane, Braintree, Essex, CM7 5XP 6:00pm to 7:30pm Reserve place 
Thursday 24th November 2016 Newslands Spring Primary School, Dickens Place, Newslands Spring, Chelmsford, CM1 4UU 6:00pm to 7:30pm Reserve place

Copies of the guide will be given to all new parents supported at Broomfield Hospital (forming part of newborn packs) and are available FREE from all GP practices, community pharmacists and via the healthy schools service.