Ahead of the busy festive period for NHS services, local GPs are reminding Blackpool parents that all children under 12 are able to receive a same-day assessment from Monday-Friday.
Most childhood illnesses are minor and can be safely managed at home, or with the help and advice of a local pharmacist.
However, parents, who are worried their child is becoming more unwell, or failing to recover, should call their GP practice to get same day advice or an assessment rather than attending the Walk-In Centre on Whitegate Drive or Blackpool Victoria A&E.
Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It’s important that people use the most appropriate service available to them when they need health advice. Lots of people automatically go to either A&E or the Walk-In Centre but this causes extra pressures on those services and can result in a long wait or delays to treating people who are seriously ill.
“Having a child who is ill can be worrying for parents. However, a high number of people who go to A&E with their child could have been seen more quickly by their pharmacist, GP or at a local walk-in centre.
“GPs can treat most childhood illnesses and we’re encouraging parents and carers to call their local practice to book a same day assessment instead of going to hospital.
“The pressure on our A&E department will inevitably increase during the festive period so we really need parents to choose the most appropriate service if needed. A&E is for serious and life-threatening emergencies only.”
If your child does become ill and you’re unsure of which service to access or how to treat an ailment then the NHS 111 telephone service is able to provide advice 24 hours, seven days a week.
The call handler will assess the situation and if needed direct you to the best local service for fast and effective treatment.