Local Hubs for Urgent Paediatric Care

Any parent or carer will identify with the fear and indecision that takes hold when a young child becomes sick or injured (but not to emergency level).  This is compounded when the problem develops or escalates outside of GP hours.

I am blessed with two young healthy children, but inevitably they become unwell or hurt themselves on occasions.  I am also employed by the NHS so fully appreciate pressures on our A&E departments.  For me the first port of call is 111, however on the occassions I have called 111 i have been referred to A&E ‘due to the very young age of the child’ - there does not appear to be any other option than A&E.

I’m sure many families would benefit from local hubs (perhaps aligned to CCG localities) open either just Out Of Hours or 24/7 that specialise in urgent care for primary school age children/pre-teens.  The centre could assess and give clinically appropriate care, advice and reassurance that is close to home, plus of course refer to A&E if necessary.

Young children throw all sorts at you, for example:

  • That weird rash that has just appeared and doesn’t look like anything on NHS Choices
  • The high temperate that has hung around for two days but with no other obvious symptoms
  • The bump on the head where they seem fine, but you still worry

Generally you know when it’s an emergency and you need to either call 999 or make a dash to A&E.  But preschool and primary school age children can’t always tell you how they feel and as a parent (and particularly as a new parent) it can be hard to know when that line is being crossed and you need to take urgent action (plus we are all told that very small children can deteriorate very quickly).  I am lucky that I can get to the NNUH in 15 minutes if I need to, but if its 1am on a Friday night and you live 40 minutes away via rural roads, your thought processes may be different.

Why the contribution is important

Such a service could:

  • Reduce pressure on our A&E services for assesment, care and advice that does not require A&E
  • Provide great patient experience
  • Provide accessible local hubs that are not dependent on GP registration and are available to holidaymakers whom would otherwise make a beeline to A&E
  • Support families out of hours so that GPs don’t get a deluge of calls on a Monday morning.
  • Support families to give the most appropriate evidence based care and treatment to their child 

by ginnt on July 24, 2019 at 02:24PM

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  • Posted by Chris_admin July 26, 2019 at 10:33

    Thanks for getting involved ginnt. We appreciate you taking the time to share your idea - as a parent of little ones myself I know how busy life is! I can also completely empathise with those late nights when you're not quite sure how ill they are or what the best course of action is.

    I'm going to share your idea now with my colleagues who plan out of hours and urgent care services, so that they can consider it as we develop our five year plan.

    What do other parents and carers think? Is this a situation you recognise? What would help you to know what to do when your child is ill?
  • Posted by Dan_K July 26, 2019 at 11:23

    I know this problem too - it can be so hard to know what to do! When one of my children was sick recently, I called 111 and they got me an appointment with a GP out of hours at the community hospital in Norwich - this worked well for us.
  • Posted by Michelle August 01, 2019 at 12:20

    As a parent of a 3.5 year old son I have had two occasions when I have had to get emergency care for my son or at least quicker care than my GP can provide (it's virtually impossilbe
    to get an appointment there these days) so we used the walk in centre.
    This idea could work best if the unit was attached the walk in?
    I live in Norwich so am lucky I can get there but more needs to be done
    for rural families too
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