A Parent’s Guide

Common childhood illnesses & well-being
Children aged 0 - 4

A guide to services

A guide to services

We have a wide range of healthcare and children and family services.

See which service or professional is best to help you.

Self care

Many minor injuries and illnesses can be best treated in your home by using over-the-counter medicine from your pharmacist and getting plenty of rest. If you are still worried call NHS 111 or your GP.

111

111

If you think you need help urgently during the day or night you should call NHS 111 before you go to any other health service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call, including from a mobile. You will be directed straight away to the local service that can help you best. Call NHS 111:

  • When you need help fast but it’s not life-threatening.

  • When you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service.

  • When it’s outside of your GP’s surgery hours.

  • When you do not know who to call for medical help.

  • If you do not have a local GP to call.

Pharmacist

Pharmacist

Your local pharmacist can provide advice on most common health issues and can suggest and dispense medicines. There are often pharmacists in supermarkets and many are open late.

Visit www.nhs.uk to find the pharmacy nearest to you.

Some local pharmacies operate a free minor ailments scheme (Care at the Chemist), or they can direct you to one that does. See your local pharmacist for a confidential consultation about coughs, colds, sore throats, pain and temperature, minor eye infections, head lice and lots more. This NHS scheme is available from age one and any medicine dispensed is free if you do not pay for your prescriptions.

GP

GP (Doctor)

You will need to register with a local GP. Your GP can advise, give you the medicines you need and point you in the right direction if you need other specialist services. You will usually need to make an appointment. All GPs will see a child quickly if you are worried.

After 6.30pm weekdays, at weekends and public holidays you can call the GP out-of-hours service
on NHS 111.

Midwife

Midwife

Your midwife assesses yours and your baby's health and well-being at various stages throughout your pregnancy and supports you both in the two weeks after the baby is born.

They will also support you if you choose a home birth.

Health visitor

Health visitor

Health visitors are there to support you until your baby is five years old. They will visit you at home for a new birth visit when the baby is about 10-14 days old and then may see you in a baby clinic. They will help with advice about feeding and weaning, or any other worries, and can direct you to where to get extra help if you need it.

Children's centres

Children’s Centres

Family friendly environments which provide support and advice for your child’s health and development up until they start school. Activities include stay and play sessions, infant feeding support groups and parenting sessions. Find your nearest centre at www.southendinfopoint.org

Dentist

Dentist

Discuss registering your child early on with your dentist and take them with you to appointments.

Visit www.nhs.uk to find your nearest dentist. For out-of-hours dentist information call NHS 111.

Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)

The FNP intensive, structured home visiting programme is delivered by specially trained nurses working with young families from early pregnancy until the child is two years old. The service is offered to first time mothers, aged 19 years or under, who are pregnant with their first child.

A&E

A&E & 999

For serious and life-threatening emergencies.

A&E and 999 are emergency services that should only be used when babies and children are badly injured or show symptoms of critical illness. These include choking or breathing difficulties, unconscious or unaware of surroundings, taken poison or tablets, severe abdominal pain, fewer wet nappies suggesting dehydration.