Overview

Improving the quality of care for children and young people in Wessex

It can be extremely stressful when your child is unwell. We know that there is a huge amount of information available at your fingertips, but finding something that provides clear and accurate information is not always easy!

The resources on the Healthier Together website have been developed in partnership between parents and healthcare professionals from across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. You'll find clear information on common childhood illnesses, including advice on what 'red-flag' signs to look out for, where to seek help if required, what you should do to keep your child comfortable and how long your child's symptoms are likely to last.

Most importantly, the resources are used not only by parents but also by healthcare professionals. This means that your child is likely to receive consistently high quality care, irrespective of which healthcare provider you take them to see. And their advice is likely to mirror that on the Healthier Together website. Reducing unnecessary variation improves the overall quality of care and reduces the parental anxiety that inconsistent advice generates

For more information about the vision of Healthier Together, you can listen to a podcast by clicking here.

To view the Healthier Together strategy for 2019, click here.

Core Principles

  1. Parents feel empowered about whether and when they need to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
  2. Parents are clearly signposted to appropriate healthcare services when required.
  3. At every point of contact, the healthcare practitioner (doctor, nurse, paramedic, pharmacist) should have a clear understanding of the limits of their own competence and when and where to seek guidance.
  4. Parents should receive consistent and appropriate advice across the whole urgent care system.
  5. Standardisation of local referral pathways and clinical guidelines across the whole acute care system, which are understood by all healthcare practitioners.
  6. Effective communication and information sharing between healthcare practitioners and services across the whole acute care system should be in place.

We have actively listened to the views of parents/carers accessing the service as well as the healthcare professionals delivering urgent care paediatric services. By working together we aim to improve how care is delivered to children and young people in Wessex.

Feedback from parents

"We have been through a month or more of our child (now almost 15 months) being ill with several virus infections and a number of visits to the doctors. It has been a very stressful and worrying time. I have just come across this website (picked up the leaflet from our doctors surgery) and it is BRILLIANT. Simple, reassuring and helpful. THANK YOU."

"It’s like a mini doctor for you at home, that’s how it is, that’s how I see it. It gives all information, what should I do, in what cases I need to go to hospital or how I can treat my baby at home."

"It's so clear isn't it? It's simple, it's in your face, you start at the bottom, you tick them off and you go up and start ticking them off and say, okay, this is the point I've got to, we need to go to the doctor or, oh, we've got pain or diarrhoea but no vomiting and nothing else so we're all right. No, I think that's really well laid out and really clear."

"He had been struggling to eat for two or three days, and it was clearly stated on the website that don’t worry about babies not eating, little and often might be a better way than standard meals. That kind of put my mind at rest actually yesterday, because I was getting a little bit stressed that he wasn’t eating the meals in the times that he usually did. Yesterday I changed my strategy and I was feeding him bits here and there, and he ended up eating the same amount, but it was a lot less stressful for me and probably for (name of baby) as well."

"We felt reassured that, 'oh actually, my baby's okay, to keep it at home for two, three days, I don't need to panic, or....' It's very good"

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