Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin integrated care system is the latest to launch a self-triage website using a traffic light system which directs parents and carers to the right place for care.
Healthier Together, aims to improve outcomes for children and their families and offers practical advice to families on numerous health conditions including skin rashes, mental health, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea along with advice on and on whether a child should go to nursery or school if unwell.
Using a traffic light system a green indication suggests a child does not need professional medical care but self-care for minor ailments that can be provided at home or via their local pharmacy with over-the-counter treatments may be suggested.
For children rated as amber, parents and carers will be directed to primary care services, or NHS111 if outside normal GP practice opening hours.
In ‘red’ cases where urgent or emergency treatment could be required, the website will signpost the parent or carer to a nearby A&E department.
Dr Priya George, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin clinical lead for mental health and children and young people has led the project from a clinical perspective, says: ‘The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Healthier Together website is an incredible local tool for healthcare colleagues, families and patients.
‘It is a single resource for anyone concerned about childhood illnesses, and even has the functionality to send text messages to the patient, parent or carer – easily giving them the information they need.
‘The simple ‘traffic light’ system helps guide parents to the right care at the right time and place for the symptoms their child is experiencing.
‘With typical waiting times for health services currently higher than we would like, we hope this new website will provide parents with an alternative way of helping to identify the support they need in a quick and easy way.’
The Healthier Together programme originated in Wessex in 2014 and its success has led to it being adapted and launched in other parts of the country including South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North East and North Cumbria and Frimley.
Information on the sites is reviewed by local healthcare professionals making links and information about local services and resources relevant.