More than 700 children were admitted to south Essex hospitals with bronchiolitis and gastric flu last year, but it is estimated that 10 per cent of these hospital admissions could have been avoided if parents were more aware of the signs and symptoms.
The NHS in south Essex has launched a public information campaigns aimed at parents and carers to help them identify and manage signs of illness and what to do if symptoms do not improve.
Two common conditions in children are bronchiolitis and ‘gastric flu’, which appear more noticeably at this time of year. In certain circumstances they can lead to complications which can result in hospitalisation. The aim of the campaign is to ensure children can be treated quickly to avoid a stay in hospital.
The four GP Clinical Commissioning Groups which manage NHS services in south Essex have joined forces to launch the awareness campaign – covering bronchiolitis and gastroenteritis - as the season approaches when these conditions are most common.
The High Impact Pathways (HIPs) scheme aims to improve the quality of service for children and young people through clear and consistent communication. By supporting and educating parents and carers to be more confident in identifying and managing signs of illness, the result will be a quicker response.
The campaign includes a range of printed leaflets and you can also access the information online, including the websites of providers of community services and the four Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) heading the campaign. These are:
At the same time, the campaign is trying to encourage the public to ‘Choose Well’ if their child or young person becomes poorly, by heading to a local community setting instead of to A&E.
The campaign material is being sent out across southern Essex now, so look out for it in your child’s school newsletter, online, and in medical settings.