NHS workshops offer advice for parents on caring for ill children

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childhood illnesses

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is arranging a new series of workshops to help parents in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District spot common illnesses in their children and advise on how to care for them. 

These workshops are designed not only to support concerned mums and dads, but help keep urgent healthcare services for the people who need them most. 

The CCG monitors age groups and other general information about people who go to the local A&E at Broomfield Hospital. Our latest figures show that in six of the seven local areas we serve the age group most often seen at A&E are the under-10s. And the NHS spends over £1 million at Broomfield Hospital each year on giving advice to parents whose children need no hospital treatment. 

Like most aspects of health and care, there will be a variety of reasons for this, but one obvious one is that parents, particularly those raising their first child, can easily worry if they don’t recognise why their child is unwell. Every parent wants to do the best for their child, but if you don’t know a condition isn’t serious, it’s only natural to assume it will be. This is where Mid Essex CCG can help. 

Dr Anna Davey, the CCG’s Chair and a local GP, said: “We ran two very popular sets of workshops a couple of years ago, giving parents, grandparents and others who regularly look after children advice about childhood ailments. This autumn, we’re bringing them back before the winter period when youngsters are most likely to get a cough or cold. 

“As a GP, I talk to parents a lot about illnesses that are best looked after at home with rest and medicine-cupboard remedies such as paracetamol suspension. But now and again parents bring in a really sick child who is much more unwell than they realised. We want to give as many parents as we can a way to spot the signs of a really unwell child and the confidence to take the right action for their little one.” 

Over the next month, the CCG has arranged events at many local schools events for parents there, but if your child’s school isn’t one of the ones involved, there are also two public workshops you’re welcome to attend – one at All Saints’ C of E School in Maldon and one at St Cedd’s School in central Chelmsford. 

Each workshop will give you the chance to hear from several healthcare professionals, ask questions and pick up some printed information about childhood illness they can take away with them. You will need to book a place to attend – you can do that, and find out more about the workshops, from the following links: 

Everyone, whether a parent, grandparent or carer, is welcome to come along.