Health chiefs were accused of putting children’s lives at risk after launching a campaign which suggests parents to take children with minor illnesses to pharmacies rather than GPs or A&E.
According to the recent TV campaign launched by NHS England, if the child is suffering a ‘minor’ illness, parents should take them to go to a pharmacist first.
Dr Ron Daniels, the UK Sepsis Trust, argued that the new NHS advice would be potentially dangerous. The symptoms of a cold or flu is difficult to distinguish from the early signs of life-threatening problems such as sepsis. In addition, the time lost through consulting a pharmacist could lead to a fatal result.
The NHS has tried to take pressure off A&E and GPs for a long time. Each year, there were about 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as coughs and tummy troubles, costing the service the equivalent of more than 220,000 hip replacements or 880,000 cataract operations.
Dr Bruce Warner, of the NHS England, who supported promoting the ‘underutilised’ pharmacies said: “pharmacists are highly trained NHS health professionals who are able to offer clinical advice and effective treatments for various kinds of minor concerns there and then.” He added, ” if symptoms suggest it is something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need.”
Although GP’s leaders said parents of children with a very high temperature that doesn’t go away should still seek help from a medical expert. “Parents should not be put off seeing a doctor”, a patients’ group said.
Dr Ron Daniels said it is a ‘sensible guidance’ for NHS to suggest patients using pharmacies first, but it is important for parents to pay much attention to their children’s health take it seriously.
(Sub: Star Tang)
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