Summer holiday healthcare – know your options

During the summer holidays, local doctors are urging parents to think about the best place to go if their children need urgent medical help.

Services such as NHS 111, local GP practices and the GP out-of-hours service are all available during school holidays and offer fast local treatment and advice without the need for a trip to A&E. Local pharmacists can also help with very minor ailments as well as guidance on managing long-term conditions.

Dr Lesley Ward, a local GP and the Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB), said:

“If you need urgent medical advice fast, or aren’t sure where to go, remember that the NHS 111 service is available around the clock. You can access it online or on the phone.

“Pharmacists can help too with very minor ailments or injuries. They’re your local healthcare expert on the high street and there are always some open late and over the weekends. Many offer a private consulting room and of course you don’t need an appointment.”

Dr Bianca Cuellar, Clinical Lead for the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said:

“We are always here for children with serious and life-threatening emergencies but there are conditions that can often be treated elsewhere, such as common coughs and colds, diarrhoea and vomiting, and constipation.

“Please remember that A&Es are for emergencies. If your child has a minor illness, GP surgeries are open and seeing people face-to-face.”

“If you have a medical problem and aren’t sure what to do you can call 111 or visit online. They will provide medical advice and direct you to the most appropriate service.”

There are also several other services for children available in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area including mental health support, experts in childhood development and access to school nursing teams.

More information about these is given below:

  • NHS 111 – click on or call 111 from your landline or mobile.
  • Minor Injuries Units:
    • Yate (open 8am-8pm every day; 21 W Walk, Yate, Bristol BS37 4AX);
    • Clevedon (open 8am-8.30pm every day; Clevedon Hospital, Old St, Clevedon BS21 6BS).
  • Urgent treatment Centre:
    • South Bristol (open 8am-8pm every day; South Bristol NHS Community Hospital, Hengrove Promenade, Hengrove, Whitchurch Lane, Bristol BS14 0DE).
  • GP out-of-hours services: Call your local GP surgery and you will be directed to your local out-of-hours GP service.
  • Find your local pharmacy:
  • Handi App – parents of young children can also consult the Handi App. The app has been developed by paediatric consultants and provides access to home care plans, as well as GP and hospital clinical guidelines, for the most common childhood health care conditions. The app takes you through a series of questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing and then advises on the best course of action, whether that’s to treat at home, to make a GP appointment, or to head to A&E. Search for “Handi App” on Google Play or iTunes.
  • Off The Record Bristol is a mental health support and information service in Bristol which provides counselling, group workshops, anti-stigma campaigns, creative therapies, LGBTQ+ networks and support, stress management workshops and community-based support groups for young people.
  • Sirona care & health’s Health Visitors are qualified nurses or midwives with additional training in promoting child, family and community health. They have extensive knowledge about child development, child health, parenting strategies, breast feeding, nutrition and community support networks. Health Visitors support families to lead healthy lifestyles and prevent ill health through building relationships with individuals and the community. More details about the service, including how to contact our teams in your area can be found on the Community Childrens’ Health Partnership website.
  • Chathealth: The school nursing team are here to help with a range of issues, from relationships and healthy eating, to bullying and alcohol abuse. If you’re 11-19 and need to talk, text our School Nurses on 07312 263093. This service runs during the school holidays as well as term time.
  • Webinars: If your child is starting primary school, or moving up to secondary school next year our School Nurses can offer tips and advice for parents on the transition. You can book onto one of our free webinars on the Community Children’s Health Partnership website.