Child health app launches in Essex

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New Essex child health app has launched to support parents to know what to do when their child is ill.

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A new App has been put together with health care workers across Essex, which provides self-care and advice to parents of children aged 0-11. It will support parents in knowing what to do if their child is unwell.

The Essex Child Health App is being launched today at the start of Self Care Week, which runs from 16-23 November.

Dr Sooraj Natarajan, GP Clinical Lead for Paediatrics in Mid and South Essex said:

“We are hoping that this app will reassure parents, it is normal to feel anxious when your child is ill. Sometimes their illness is obvious, they may have visible symptoms such as a runny nose, but other times it isn’t as easy. You know your child best and will know if something is out of the ordinary. Most illnesses such as sore throats and earache get better by themselves but it’s important that parents know what to do if their child is unwell and how to recognise the signs.”

Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of the NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We are really pleased to support this new app which we hope will give parents the information, as well the confidence, to best look after their child’s health.

“Having the app will enable parents to quickly access the advice they need so they know what do. Many childhood illnesses can be best treated with over-the-counter medicine from the pharmacy or self-care at home, saving an unnecessary trip to the GP or A&E department.”

The new NHS Essex Child Health app has been designed to support parents, grandparents and carers across Essex find NHS advice at their fingertips to help look after their children’s health and recognise when they are unwell.

Many illnesses can now be treated at home with lots of rest and by using over-the-counter medicines. The NHS Essex Child Health app offers handy advice on some of these most common childhood illnesses, as well as helping you to understand when is the right time to chat to your school nurse, visit a local community pharmacist, GP or to call NHS 111.

New parents should be reassured that they do not need to attend A&E for every illness their child is facing as the app contains expert advice on the most common childhood illnesses as well as information on when and where to seek further help for more serious illnesses.

The app is free to download on both Android and Apple. Just search ‘NHS Essex Child Health’.

App store:

Google Play:

Caring for you during the COVID-19 lockdown

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How to seek health and care support during the national lockdown.

During the lockdown, people can still contact their GP practices by calling for appointments as they would normally. Patients who require medical advice will be given a video or telephone consultation and only asked to visit the practice if this is deemed necessary by the clinical team. This will reduce the risk to you and the clinical team and is in line with current lockdown guidance.

It is important that anyone who has symptoms of covid-19 does not leave home and this includes going to their GP practice. GP practice staff will be there to provide care for those who need it for all other medical conditions and concerns, including for those with long term conditions and for those needing immunisations. Patients can also continue to access the out-of-hours (evening and weekend) GP services. These appointments can be booked through your practice or if the practice is closed, their automated message will contain the number to call for your local out-of-hours service.

There are four main ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP:

  • Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or virtual (telephone or video) appointment;
  • In some practices you can visit your GP surgery website and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day;
  • Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice;
  • Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms.

How to get the most out of your GP appointment?

Top tips on getting the most out of your appointment includes:

  • Be friendly – to all members of the staff you encounter especially the reception staff. Use polite language that will help you to be listened to.
  • Being empowered, your voice counts - remember you are in control of your care. Be confident to talk through why you are there.
  • Be prepared – think about what you would like to discuss and the outcome of the appointment. Be on time and explain your symptoms as best as possible including what medications/drugs/alcohol you currently take.
  • Be clear – before leaving your appointment make sure you understood everything that was clear. Write things down if it will help you remember.

Flu – don’t be complacent

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flu myth buster

If you are over 65 and attend GP practices in Thurrock, you should have been invited by your surgery to have your flu vaccination.

Flu can be very serious, the vaccination is quick, free and can protect you from flu.

If you’re worried, remember, your GP practice will keep you safe and flu vaccinations will continue throughout this national lockdown.

You will be vaccinated away from general patients going in for check-ups.

Click on the link below to view our Flu Mythbuster:
pdf Flu Vaccine Myth Busters (694 KB)

And also try playing the flu bee game to see if you know your flu facts!

Don’t delay get your jab today!

Autumn 2020 Issue of CCG Insight Out Now!

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We’ve released the latest edition of CCG Insight, a magazine packed full of information on healthcare in Thurrock plus details of the CCG's and our partners' work in the community.

This autumn issue features:

  • A look at some of the mental health support on offer in Thurrock;
  • Calls for people in Essex to take care of their health and wellbeing by finding a physical activity they love doing;
  • A reminder to vulnerable groups to get their flu vaccine and protect themselves this winter;
  • The appointment of the permanent Accountable Officer of the five CCGs in Mid and South Essex.

You can find out more about all of these stories and more by viewing the latest issue above, or by downloading it by clicking the link below. We hope you enjoy reading it! Please feel free to share with friends, family members and colleagues.

pdf CCG Insight - Autumn 2020 (issue 19) (3.54 MB)

Better Health - it's Stoptober so quit smoking and breathe easier

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Better Health - Stoptober is back in its ninth year. However, this year it’s different.

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In 2020, the world experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that affected all aspects of our daily lives including perceptions of our own health. Therefore, this year Better Health -Stoptober is here to help smokers understand in its new campaign message that, “Now more than ever, ahead of flu season, it’s time to put your lungs first, quit smoking and breathe easier!"

Stoptober is the annual campaign under Public Health England’s (PHE) new umbrella brand, ‘Better Health Let’s Do This’ that encourages smokers across the country to join in and give quitting a go for the month of October.

This year’s campaign will focus on respiratory health by highlighting the harm smoking causes and the benefits of quitting. It will also build on the sense of community generated by the pandemic and motivate smokers to make a quit attempt through positive messaging.

There are a number of other ways you can get information and support in Thurrock to stop smoking:

Contact: 0800 292 2299
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.