New education scheme for Rochdale parents aims to reduce A&E visits

Parents of children under four across the Rochdale borough can benefit from education to help them care for their child when they are ill.

The sessions, delivered by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust Children’s Community Nursing team and health visitors, will teach parents how to confidently identify and treat minor ailments.

Many common conditions cause parents to unnecessarily take their child to A&E, an urgent care centre or a GP, when they could be easily treated at home. These include high temperatures, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and rashes.

The team will work with GPs across the area to identify parents who frequently attend A&E or urgent care, who may benefit from the support.

Nurses will then offer a face-to-face home visit, to educate parents on the most appropriate course of action; whether that be seeing the right service or health professional, or caring for their child at home.

Alison Butterworth, Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The service aims to support parents, so they are confident at looking after their child’s minor illnesses and know where to access advice locally.

“Hopefully more children will be cared for at home with the knowledge gained, meaning less pressure on hospital and GP services over the busy winter period.”

Nurses will also be attending baby clinics at the children’s centres throughout the borough, with some sessions planned at mosques in the New Year.

Information will also be available in a booklet called: ‘A guide to common childhood illnesses and well-being’, which health visitors will be giving out and is available at: http://hmr.sensecds.com.