With children across Swindon looking forward to week of messing about, playing outside and generally enjoying being off school, parents are being reminded of the healthcare options available to them should their little one have an accident or become ill.

The NHS in Swindon has all bases covered when it comes to minor injuries and illnesses, with a number of different services available to treat everything from an upset tummy and sore throat to fractured arms and sprained ankles.

Dr Sarah Bruen, Interim Clinical Chair, Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group, said:“It’s a good idea for parents to know what help is available should their child pick up an injury or become ill during the holidays.

“For the less serious, such as colds, sore throats, runny noses and upset tummies,parents can call in on their local pharmacist who can provide tips on self-care and, in some cases, medicine – all without needing an appointment.

“If it’s something a bit more pressing – think high temperatures, rashes, persistent sickness and the kinds of illnesses that cannot wait to be seen – the children’sSUCCESS clinics at Moredon Medical Centre and the new Swindon NHS Health Centre offer same-day GP appointments.

“To get an appointment, parents can contact their surgery and specifically ask for a slot or call the SUCCESS clinic directly on 01793 342000.”

The Walk-in Centre in Islington Street, as well as the Urgent Care Centre at the Great Western Hospital, will be open as normal throughout the school holidays and can provide same-day healthcare without an appointment for all minor injuries and illnesses.

Parents who are unsure of where to take their child – or if they need to take their child anywhere at all – should make use of the NHS 111 service, which is now available online, as well as on the telephone.

Manned by a team of trained healthcare professionals, the NHS 111 phone service can provide parents with helpful advice and information in just a few minutes, whereas the new online function will ask questions about a child’s symptoms before suggesting the best course of action to take.

The phone service can be reached by dialling 111 from any mobile or landline, while the online service can be accessed from any smartphone, laptop or tablet by visiting www.111.nhs.uk.

Older children and teenagers who struggle to chat about mental health with their parents of friends can make use of Kooth, an online counselling service that gives young people aged between 11 and 19 a safe and confidential outlet to discuss their feelings with a trained mental health adviser.

The Emergency Department at the Great Western Hospital should only be used for the most serious conditions, where there is a genuine threat to life or where the injury or illness cannot be treated at any other healthcare location.

For more information on local health services, visit www.swindonccg.nhs.uk or, to access Kooth, visit www.kooth.com.

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