Children Urgent Appointments
Often children feel or become unwell at school, which prompts a call to the parents. Your child may be suffering from a self-limiting illness which is best managed at home such as coughs, cold, fever, sore throat and tummy ache. Schools have a duty to inform parents when a child is unwell so they may be collected and looked after at home.
If you have been contacted by the school that your child is unwell, please consider the urgency of the situation and make your own assessment as to if, and how soon they need to be seen by a health professional. Please consider the usual self-management information available on NHS Choices website or from your local pharmacy such as paracetamol and ibuprofen for fever and pain.
If you feel that your child needs to be seen by a GP then please book an appointment as usual. If there are no appointments available within a suitable time-frame, then please try the following:
- check the local Camden GP Hub 0207 391 9979 8am-8pm
- check at 8.30am online (you can book an appointment in your name then arrive earlier and advise reception to change it to your child’s name)
Please do not request an emergency appointment until you have personally assessed your childs needs. We have limited capacity for urgent ‘on the day’ requests in addition to the above. Any appointment request given outside of the above system will require you to be with your child for the Clinician to be able to triage your need appropriately.
If you feel you are not able to wait for a doctors call back due to your childs illness within a few hours or you feel your child is in need of immediate treatment then you should attend an emergency department. If you are not certain you can also call the 111 service who can advise you, and are available 24/7.
When your child visits the doctor it is preferable to have a legal guardian/ parent present. This is because only parents and/or legal guardians are able to give consent for their children (up to age 18) for examinations and treatments. In particular, this applies to vaccinations where we need a guardian/parent to be present to consent. A note given to a carer/nanny is not considered to be valid informed consent for vaccinations. The nurse or clinician will therefore need to call you to discuss vaccinations or treatment.
Often we need the support of a parent to draw up a shared management plan and to help with any examinations needed at the time and to answer any questions. Due to time restrictions we are not able to duplicate a consultation or discussion with a Carer by telephoning the parent.
Some older children who are able to understand and make certain decisions for themselves about their healthcare are free to book their own appointments and attend alone.