The NHS is open for children too

Local health leaders in West Lancashire are reminding West Lancs parents and carers that the NHS is very much open.

All local NHS services for children and young people, covering both physical mental health needs are still very much available, although some of the services may look and feel different in how they are accessed.

A few months into the pandemic, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would also like to thank parents and carers for the excellent job so far in looking after their children while not overwhelming the NHS.

Dr Peter Gregory, local GP and chair of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“We recognise this is a frightening time and keeping ourselves and our families safe and well is a priority for all of us. We are really grateful to the West Lancashire population for using the NHS responsibly over these last few months. However, we would like to emphasise that help is here and it is important that there is no hesitation when urgent health advice and treatment is required.

“We’ve shaped some services differently to keep our staff and patients safe, but they remain open. If you have a child that is shielding, please expect a call from our social prescribing team at West Lancs CVS who will see what other help you may need at this time.

If a child is due to have a routine vaccination such as the 6-in-1 vaccine, MenB or HPV please speak to your GP practice. It’s important that you keep these appointments.

“We would like to highlight that our Urgent Treatment Centre in Ormskirk and Walk-in Centre in Skemersdale as just two service examples are open. All appointments are pre booked by phone first, rather than turning up in person, but they can still safely see to children minor injuries and minor illnesses”.

Dr Gregory continues:

“Everyone’s mental health is being tested at this time and children particularly may be anxious about what is happening around them. It is therefore crucial that anyone who needs help seeks it. There are some great local services such as a mental health helpline for children & young people and Healthy Young Minds, an online page which focuses on many common issues such as anxiety or low mood”.

Claire Heneghan, Chief Nurse of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG):

“It is imperative that everyone is being looked after and safe at this time. We have seen a national rise in domestic violence, and this makes children and young people more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. With many schools closed and restricted outdoor activities and gatherings these issues can go unrecognised.

We thank the people of West Lancashire for their continued assistance in supporting our local communities and continue to encourage people to be vigilant and notice people who may need support or be suffering from neglect or abuse. We are asking you to speak up on behalf of those who can’t”.

The following show some key services available at this time:

  • GP practice – GPs are working together and using phone/video consultations where possible. Call your normal practice phone number (Call 111 for out of hours)
  • Self help – Search NHS Choices for a guide to managing minor illnesses in children. For advice for young children refer to Institute of Health Visiting www.iHV.org.uk/ParentingCOVID19 or contact your health visitor on the advice line 0300 247 0040 Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm
  • Children’s A&E – open from 8am – 10pm 7 days a week. All patients requiring an ambulance after 10pm will be diverted to Alder Hey.
  • Urgent care – Ormskirk Urgent Treatment Centre in Ormskirk and Walk-in Centre in Skem are open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm for minor injuries and illnesses. You will need to make an appointment for your child to be seen. All appointments must be pre booked by calling 01695 402 180 . You can also be directed here by your GP or 111 who will arrange for an appointment.
  • Mental Health – Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Line (all ages) 0800 953 0110. CAMHS 01695 684 262 Mon to Fri 9am – 5pm, weekends 10am – 6pm. Kooth a safe and anonymous online counselling and support service for 10 – 16 year olds www.kooth.com. Health Young Minds provides a range of advice/guidance to children and young people www.healthierlsc.co.uk/children-and-young-people/information/children-and-young-people. Self referrals welcome for ADHD via www.adhdnorthwest.org.uk
  • Dental – Contact your dentist in the normal way or call the Lancashire Dental Helpline 0300 1234 010 if you don’t have a dentist.
  • Medicines – Keep stocked up with commonly used over the counter children’s medicines by visiting your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can also give you advice on treatments for minor illness or injury.
  • 111 – Call 111 for any urgent treatment