NHS Tayside has issued advice and reassurance to parents and carers who have concerns about their child’s health.
Local health services are continuing to provide advice and treatment to anyone who becomes unwell or injured during this time. Whilst it is important to stay at home as much as possible, parents and carers should still contact their GP, NHS 24 (111) or 999 if they are worried about their child.
Parents or carers of a child known to one of NHS Tayside’s paediatric specialist services should contact their specialist nurse as they would do usually. If they have open access to Tayside Children’s Hospital they will have been advised on how to activate this as required.
Clinical lead for paediatrics Dr Helen Dunne said, “During this uncertain time of home isolation, we wish to reassure people that local healthcare services are available to see your child if you are concerned. Fortunately, very few children will develop serious illness due to COVID-19 but during this time children may become ill with other things and we want you to know we are still here to help.
“Families have told us they are worried that if they come in to hospital they will catch coronavirus, that the NHS is too busy just now or that they won’t be able to stay with their child if they are admitted to hospital.
“We want to reassure them that we will do all we can to prevent the spread of infection and we have both COVID and non-COVID areas for children in all of our healthcare settings. We will try to give advice by telephone to save people having to leave home but if we do need to see your child we can do this safely.
“We know people have been following government advice to stay home to protect the NHS and we thank them for this, however we are still open and if your child is sick it is important to come to hospital to have them seen.
“There have been restrictions put in place to visiting hospitals but this does not apply to parents staying with unwell children. One parent or carer can currently stay with their child at a time.
“We would also like to reassure you that our vitally important health visitors, immunisation teams and child protection teams are continuing to offer their services in the safest possible way.”
GP surgeries are open as normal, however to help minimise the spread of COVID-19, please call your practice rather than attending in person. Your practice will discuss your concerns and if it is felt that your child needs to be seen, they will arrange the most appropriate way for this to happen.
If your GP practice is closed, please call 111 as usual. You will be given advice over the phone and, if necessary, an appointment can be arranged to see a doctor.
In an emergency please call 999 or attend the emergency department.
If you are worried about your child when they are unwell please seek advice. The following websites and guidance may help you decide who to contact.