Caring for unwell children over Christmas
HYWEL Dda University Health Board is re-issuing advice to Pembrokeshire parents on how they can care, or access healthcare services, for unwell children in the lead up to the Christmas Bank Holidays.
The vast majority of unwell children are cared for at home by their families when they are unwell, and general advice on how to manage common childhood illness can be found on the NHS Direct website or by calling 0845 46 47.
In the majority of cases, GPs and hospital Emergency Departments also care for children without needing to admit them into hospital.
GP out-of-hours services are available in Pembrokeshire overnight, on weekends and Bank Holidays for urgent care and are accessed by calling your usual GP telephone number. Withybush Hospital’s Emergency and Urgent Care Unit also provides 24 hour urgent care for children with minor injuries.
Clinical lead for Child and Adolecent Health Dr Simon Fountain-Polley explained: “Families generally look after their own children for the majority of acute illnesses. If they need advice they can access NHS Direct, community pharmacists, or their local GP.Most children, thankfully, don’t need to see the hospital paediatric team for acute illnesses. For that relatively small proportion of children who do, their GP can refer them into hospital services.”
For children who need paediatric input, there is a Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Withybush Hospital 10am-6pm and overnight care is provided from Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen. There is a dedicated ambulance vehicle for women and children’s transfers between Withybush and Glangwili and a parent or carer can remain with their child on transfer and on the wards.
The health board has issued a question and answer guide that may help parents with any questions they may have.
It follows temporary changes to PACU services at Withybush Hospital that were made recently due to a reduction in the availability of paediatric consultants. This has meant the opening hours have temporarily been reduced from the usual 10am-10pm daily to 10am-6pm daily. There will be one paediatric rota for the south of the Health Board covering Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. This means if there is a paediatric emergency out-of-hours at Withybush Hospital, the on-call paediatric consultants in Glanwgili Hospital offer remote advice to emergency and anaesthetic staff at Withybush Hospital.
What is PACU?
PACU stands for Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit. About 75% of those children who are referred into Withybush Hospital PACU, are treated there and do not need to be transferred to another hospital. It provides care for children with sudden onset of pain, high temperatures, sickness, infections, or requirements for dressings, blood tests, x-rays or scans.
What about children who need to stay in hospital overnight?
Any Pembrokeshire children who need an overnight, inpatient stay in hospital, are transferred to Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen. There is a dedicated ambulance vehicle for women and children’s transfers between Withybush and Glangwili and a parent or carer can remain with their child on transfer and on the wards.
What about sick children who need assessment after 6pm?
Children who require paediatric assessment after 6pm are referred or transferred by ambulance to the PACU at Glangwili Hospital.
What about hospital appointments for children?
Scheduled care including procedures, tests and outpatient clinics continue at Withybush Hospital during the daytime.
What do you do if your child is unexpectedly sick at night?
Parents should continue to access care for their children as they do now.
If your child is unwell, you can do a number of things:
- Call NHS Direct Wales – 0845 46 47 – they can advise you if you are unsure what to do, as well as provide health information on a wide range of conditions, treatment and local health services
- Use your community pharmacy if open
- Make an appointment with your GP as usual, including out-of- hours GP services, which are contacted through your normal GP telephone number
- For a paediatric minor injury, go to Withybush Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) 24 hours a day
- In an emergency, if your child is very sick, you should dial 999 for assistance. Children who present at Withybush Hospital out-of-hours will usually be transferred to Glanwgili Hospital for paediatric input. In the exceptional circumstance where emergency resuscitation is required, emergency and anaesthetic staff will resuscitate, stabilise, and arrange transfer onto another hospital.
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Local coronavirus restrictions imposed to control outbreaks in South Wales
Coronavirus laws are being tightened in four more Welsh authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport – following a sharp rise in cases, Health Minister Vaughan Gething today announced.
The new measures will come into force at 6pm on Tuesday 22 September 2020, to protect people’s health and control the spread of the virus in the four local authority areas.
The new restrictions will apply to everyone living in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport:
People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households;
All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm;
Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales.
From 6pm on Tuesday 22 September, the requirement for all licensed premises to close at 11pm will also be extended to Caerphilly borough.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“Following the decision to place additional coronavirus restrictions in place in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf, we have seen a worrying and rapid rise in cases in four other south Wales council areas – Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport.
“In many cases, this is linked to people socialising indoors without social distancing. We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading. We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.
“It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.
“We need everyone’s help to bring coronavirus under control. We need everyone to pull together and to follow the measures which are there to protect you and your loved ones.”
The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas.
The Welsh Government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border tomorrow to discuss the wider situation in South Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region to protect people’s health.
The new local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.
Keep Wales safe by:
Always keeping your distance
Washing your hands regularly
Working from home wherever you can
Following any local restrictions
Following the rules about meeting people
Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.
Welsh legislation will restrict those travelling from hotspot areas
MARK Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, has today announced legislation which will restrict those coming from coronavirus hotspot’s from travelling to Wales.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has refused to impose rules which prohibit those from areas where the infection rate is high from entering low virus rate areas’s.
Mr Drakeford has made two requests to the Prime Minister requesting to impose rules which will mean those from high virus areas in England be prohibited from travelling to Wales, a request which has been denied by Mr Johnson.
The powers set by Mr Drakeford will come into force by the end of the week, unless Boris Johnson takes action sooner.
Speaking at the Plenary today, Mr Drakeford made the announcement, stating if Mr Johnson does not reply to his request by Friday then The Welsh Government will bring in legislation to restrict travel from those in English lockdown areas travelling to Wales.
Mr Drakeford said this was not a case of all those from England being restricted travel to Wales, just hotspot areas.
He said: “Evidence from public health professionals suggests coronavirus is moving from east to west across the UK and across Wales. As a general rule, it is concentrating in urban areas and then spreading to more sparsely populated areas as a result of people travelling.
“Much of Wales in now subject to local restriction measures because levels of the virus have risen and people living in those areas are not able to travel beyond their county boundary without a reasonable excuse. This is designed to prevent the spread of infection within Wales and to other areas of the UK.
“We are preparing to take this action to prevent people who live in areas where there are higher Covid infection rates across the UK from travelling to Wales and bringing the virus with them.
“I am determined to keep Wales safe.”
The legislation, which is understood to come into force Friday, October 16 at 6pm, will mean those travelling to Wales from areas of England which are classed as virus hotspot’s will be restricted.
The new legislation also restricts those travelling into Wales from high virus prevalence areas from Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – Paul Davies MS – has rounded on the First Minister over a ban on people entering Wales from England, and the Labour Party’s inability or unwillingness to publish comprehensive data proving that transmission rates are accelerating due to travel.
Mr Davies took the First Minister to task during Plenary today (October 14), and referred to a statement made by the leader of the Labour Party on September 23 when he said that the Welsh Government was not seeing any spikes at all in infection due to travel and tourism.
Mr Davies said that the people of Wales deserve to have sight of the data that underpins the Welsh Labour-led Government’s position on this matter, so that they can be confident that the Government’s actions are proportionate to the threat of the virus in their area.
Mr Davies also referred to a paper that accompanied the First Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, a paper – that was not peer-reviewed – that confirms the data “…does not constitute definitive proof” in favour of a travel ban.
Mr Davies said: “The First Minister and his Government have acted rashly and without examining a range of other factors before a conclusion on whether to impose a travel ban or not is reached, while at the same time seemingly ignoring the fact that transmission rates in relation to travel had already peaked in August and September.
“It is incumbent on the First Minister to explain just why he has chosen to act in this way, and what supporting evidence he and his Ministers have seen to justify a ban and then publish it so it can be properly scrutinised.
“If he cannot or will not, then he must review and rescind this ban immediately.”
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