Leeds mum backs NHS campaign encouraging parents to seek medical attention if a child is unwell

Gloria Foster from Leeds is using her recent experience of accessing care for her 21-month old son to remind parents and carers to seek medical help if a child is unwell or is injured.

This comes after Gloria’s 21-month-old son, Nolan, needed urgent medical attention after falling through a gap in a bench.

Gloria and NolanGloria, 33, from Leeds said: “I’d seen the message from the local NHS as well as the national media, encouraging people to access NHS emergency services when they need to.

“When my son had fallen through a bench, he hit his head on a flower bed and was a little disorientated when he stood up. At that moment I knew I had to seek medical attention, so I rang NHS 111 and they sent out an ambulance. The paramedics were brilliant, and they took my son to children’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) at Leeds General Infirmary.

“When arriving at A&E, I was asked if either me or my son had symptoms of coronavirus and I told them we didn’t. We were then asked to go to the ‘cold A&E’ which basically meant that patients who showed no symptoms of coronavirus were sent there. As a parent I wanted to make sure my son was seen in a safe and low-risk environment, and the children’s A&E at Leeds General Infirmary gave me that reassurance. Everything was clearly signposted, the staff were brilliant, and my son was fine once the staff had checked him.

“My message to other parents and carers would be that if a child is unwell, please seek urgent medical care, call your GP practice or NHS 111 as they’ll advise you what to do if it’s not an emergency. Or, if it’s life or limb-threatening use NHS emergency services like call 999 or go to children’s A&E at Leeds General Infirmary.

“I fully support the local campaign ‘Your NHS is still here for you when you need us’ (www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/HereForYou), because it encourages us to get medical attention we need for ourselves or our loved ones.”

The local NHS has made a plea as there is a growing concern that the coronavirus outbreak is causing people to avoid contacting healthcare services, sometimes resulting in a dangerous life or limb-threatening delay in seeking urgent medical attention.

Dr Helen Haywood, GP and Clinical Lead for Children and Young People at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Families will be staying at home due to the coronavirus and a lot of parents and carers may worry about taking their children out, especially to a GP practice or hospital (children’s A&E is only at the Leeds General Infirmary), but if you are concerned that a child is seriously unwell you must seek urgent medical advice. GPs are available to speak to during their usual opening hours, on the phone in the first instance, when they will sometimes arrange a video consultation or if appropriate a face-to-face appointment in the practice.

“Out of hours services and children’s A&E at Leeds General Infirmary are also working and parents must not delay seeking help when worried as this could put their child’s health at a risk. Serious illness, such as a severe asthma attack, pneumonia, appendicitis, meningitis, or sepsis need to be picked up and dealt with early to prevent complications which could lead to disability or even, in some tragic cases, death.

“Our local campaign really pushes the message of getting medical help when you need it. Please follow @NHSLeeds on Twitter, Facebook.com/nhsleeds or nhsleeds on Instagram to share the #NHSHereForYou messages.”

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have produced a traffic light poster, this has advice for parents during coronavirus so they know what to do if the child starts to feel unwell, this can be viewed on the following link https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf


Notes to editors

Interview requests with Gloria Foster

All interview requests must be sent to leedsccg.comms@nhs.net and someone from the communications team will be in touch.

Local campaign – Your NHS is still here for you when you need us

We’ve launched a local campaign to remind people to seek medical care when they need it, particularly those that are struggling with life-changing and life-threatening illnesses.

For further information, visit www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/HereForYou

You can share the #NHSHereForYou messages on social media by following @NHSLeeds on Twitter, Facebook.com/nhsleeds, or nhsleeds on Instagram.

Guidance when caring for an unwell child aged 0-5 years

In Leeds we’ve developed a health traffic light list, which shows what you need to do when caring for an unwell child aged 0 – 5 years. It tells when you need to visit your local pharmacist when to call your GP or NHS 111, and when to go to Accident and Emergency – remembering in Leeds this is only at the Leeds General Infirmary – or call 999.

View the guidance on the following link https://bit.ly/35aYm61