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GPP – Managing childhood illnesses

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 2.2 million children aged 0-5 years attended A&E every year, with rates increasing by 24% in the last six years despite a falling birth rate and improvements in overall child health. The number of 0-5 years attending A&E during 2020-2021 was over 1.2 million.

Many of these presentations are avoidable or preventable, and will be relatively minor or self-limiting, when treatment elsewhere or self-care may be more appropriate. Health visitors are in an ideal position to support parents’ confidence in recognising and managing minor illnesses in childhood to drive down this form of A&E demand.