A new and free NHS website has launched for parents and healthcare professionals. What0-18 is part of a new initiative, led by Paeditrician Sanjay Patel from Southampton Children’s Hospital, offering information on a range of common childhood illnesses.
The website www.what0-18.nhs.uk and mobile phone app has been developed in partnership with parents, general practitioner’s (GPs), hospital staff, ambulance services and pharmacists in response to the increasing number of appointments being made with GPs for illnesses which could often be better managed at home. The website has been designed to support parents to manage less serious childhood illnesses themselves and provides information to help them to recognise when they need to take their child to the doctor.
Dr Browne who works as a Paediatric Clinical Lead for the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is a GP at the Beacon Centre, St. Mary’s Hospital, said:
“One aspect of What 0-18 is understanding the predicament parents can face managing minor illness in their children. When to seek medical advice? When to try over the counter or home remedies? Do they need antibiotics? When has it gone on for too long?
“What0-18 provides information that can help parents with these questions; for some of the most common childhood ailments. It shares information that health professionals can use and brings together other reliable health information tools that parents may already be familiar with such as NHS Choices and whenshouldIworry.com. What0-18 also offers health information for young people and pregnant women.”
“It can be difficult for parents to know the best way to care for children when they become ill and it can be extremely worrying if they are very young and can’t tell you exactly what is wrong. In most cases, childhood illness can be managed at home with over-the-counter medication and rest. Parents want reassurance from a trusted source and this website is an excellent place to start and gives parents and carers the information they need to be able to care for minor illnesses and help with any concerns they may have about their child’s health and wellbeing.”
Dr Emma Blake, Paediatric Consultant and Medical Lead for Healthier Together at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:
“Parents want fast, up to date, expert advice on what to do when their child is sick or has had an injury. This resource has been designed by local and national paediatric experts and based on trusted national guidelines. It gives parents “red flags” of worrying features that need urgent medical review. In this way parents can be reassured they are taking appropriate action at home and know when they need more specialist help. We hope it will keep more children at home but will allow the sickest children to be seen by the appropriate specialist more quickly.”
As well seeking information online, local pharmacists can advise on the appropriate over-the-counter medicines that are suitable for children. The NHS 111 service based at St. Mary’s Hospital is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for over the phone advice and will signpost to appropriate healthcare services when required.