DO not delay in seeking advice and treatment if your child is unwell or injured is the message from Hywel Dda University Health Board.
While it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured at this time. Remember that 111 NHS Wales, GPs and hospitals are still providing the care that you need but in different ways to help keep you and your child safe.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced a helpful guide for parents to understand when to seek advice and treatment for their child.
Janet Millward, Senior Nurse Manager Paediatrics at Hywel Dda UHB said, “We understand that families will be anxious at this time if their child becomes unwell or injured.
COVID-19 is worrying but there may be other reasons why your child might be unwell and it is important not to delay in getting care and treatment. In each of our counties, we have arrangements in place to provide care for your child during the pandemic.
“To help keep you and your child safe at Glangwili Hospital, we have set up a new temporary Paediatric Assessment Area adjacent to the Emergency Department where we can assess children in a separate facility to adults. This area is for children with illnesses who attend following emergency referral from their General Practitioner (GP) , Out of Hours GP, Welsh Ambulance Service or those who are brought to the hospital by parents or family members.
If your child is injured, you will be cared for in the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or Emergency department. For any children who have open access arrangements, you should contact the ward as you usually would.
“At Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, we will continue to see children in the emergency department or direct you to either the maternal and child health department on level 2 for assessment or to Angharad ward. Once assessed if your child requires admission the staff will direct you to the ward.
“In response to COVID-19 at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU), also known as Puffin Ward, has been converted into a Minor Injuries Unit for adults and children for the duration of the pandemic. Children with minor injuries will still be able to access care at Withybush but children with illness will be cared for at Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen.”
If your child is admitted to hospital, one parent or carer can stay with them on the ward. Our hospitals have free Wi-Fi to help families keep in touch at this time.
Most children who become unwell at this time won’t need to visit hospital and if your child’s physical or mental health is worrying you, your GP practice or 111 NHS Wales are also available to help.
GP services, health visitors and immunisations
You can contact your GP practice by phone if you are worried about your child’s health. Your GP surgery can provide telephone triage and may also have introduced, or are in the process of introducing, an online consultation service called e-Consult. You can access this service by visiting your GP surgery’s website; follow the link to e-Consult then choose the “I want help for my child” option.
Our Health Visiting teams are also continuing to support families and new babies. If you are unable to reach your usual health visitor, please contact your local hub, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm:
- Ceredigion – 07970 501609
- Pembrokeshire – 07766 992316
- Llanelli – 01554 742447
- Amman/Gwendraeth & Carmarthen – 01554 899070
It is also important to keep up-to-date with your child’s vaccinations during this time. Parents with children under 5 years of age who are due their childhood immunisations should continue to attend appointments, as it is important to protect them from other diseases that may be circulating.
Mental health and wellbeing
Welsh mental health charity Hafal has developed resources for parents and carers to support conversations with young people about resilience and mental health. The Bloom Resource Library is available on their website: https://mentalhealth-uk.org/partnerships/bloom-resource-library/
There are also many helpful websites for parents/carers, children and young people, here are a few:
- A comprehensive information hub for children, young people, and families in Wales https://www.childcomwales.org.uk/coronavirus/
- Meic can listen to you if you’re feeling worried and help you to feel better. You can call them or chat to them online www.meiccymru.org
- NHS Wales symptom checker https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/selfassessments/
- My Health Passport – free download available. For children and young people with learning disabilities and/or complex health needs, now is the perfect time to get a Health Passport. This is available to download for free in English or Welsh from https://widgit-health.com/downloads/my-health-passport.htm to help share important information about themselves when accessing care.