GP asks Royal Borough parents to 'manage' colds and flu to reduce hospital admissions

GP asks Royal Borough parents to 'manage' colds and flu to reduce hospital admissions

Philip Dewey

A GP is asking parents in the Royal Borough to help 'manage' their children's colds and flu to reduce hospital admissions.

The council's health and wellbeing board is due to meet on Thursday to discuss the results of a multi-agency workshop to identify health promotion opportunities, which was held in July.

It established that Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs) in children, such as pneumonia, was the biggest priority in Windsor and Maidenhead, with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and dementia following.

Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead (WAM) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman Dr Adrian Hayter said early prevention of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs) such as colds and flu could reduce the number of children being admitted to hospital.

Dr Hayter, a GP at Runnymede Medical Practice in Surrey, said: "There are a number of concerns, one is that children are going into hospital and staying in for short periods of time, which means hospitals can't cope with the number of children who really need to be in hospital.

"In order to reduce admissions, we need to educate parents on how to manage URTIs and to prevent them from becoming ill in the first place through pneumonia and flu vaccinations, and to cut out smoking in front of children."

The workshop is part of the health and wellbeing board and WAM CCG's commissioning plan, which aims to promote healthy lifestyles and self care, improve outcomes for patients and to reduce admissions.

Dr Hayter said: "Going into hospital isn't always the best way to manage the condition so we will be giving out more information through health visitors and GP practices.

"We need to be more proactive with possible early intervention and we need parents to be able to manage the condition with their GP."

The health and wellbeing board meeting was due to take place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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