Porl-E competition

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Porl E web banner FINAL

It’s never too early to get children thinking about how they can stay well and prevent illnesses. As we approach winter, illnesses are more likely to spread and cause infection – particularly among younger people, such as school children.

Nationally, as well as locally, the winter months can be challenging for the NHS, especially for urgent care services. This is why it’s important to spread awareness messages amongst parents of young children (and young children themselves), to help prepare for this period. It is also an opportunity to embed prevention messages to help raise awareness of the benefits of preventative health and self-care generally.

We are planning to launch a competition across schools in south east Essex in order to start getting children to think about how they might stay well this winter. The narrative includes a story about ‘Porl-E’, a nasty germ that causes upset tummies and bad coughs.

We have collated a range of resources below which can help with the competition. They can also help children to learn new ways to help look after themselves and prevent certain illnesses. There are also a number of useful resources for parents/carers.

Download competition poster

Download entry pack

Download terms and conditions 

Additional Information

In addition to our wider winter plans, we have also developed an alternative Christmas wish-list for children and parents/guardians of children. This focusses on what children don’t want for Christmas this year. This includes advice for parents/guardians of young children with any of these conditions.

Healthcare professionals came together to provide a guide to three common childhood health ailments that parents can use to self-treat, visit their GP, or call NHS111 and know what to do in an emergency. The three illnesses are:

  • Diarrhoea and Vomiting
  • Bronchiolitis (not just a cold, but an infection of the lower airways)
  • Head Injury

More information about these conditions can be found below.

Download the 'Alternative' Christmas Wish-List

More about the conditions

Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory tract infection that affects babies and young children under a year old. The early symptoms are similar to those of a common cold and include a runny nose and cough.

As it develops, the symptoms of bronchiolitis can include a persistent cough, noisy breathing and difficulty feeding.

Symptoms usually improve after three days and in most cases, the illness isn’t serious. However, contact your GP or health visitor if your child is only able to feed half the normal amount or is struggling to breathe, or if you are generally worried about them.

More information: www.nhs.uk/conditions/bronchiolitis 

Download bronchiolitis advice sheet for parents

Sickness and diarrhoea bugs are caught easily and are often passed on in places where there are lots of children.

Feeling sick and suddenly being sick are normally the first signs. Diarrhoea can follow afterward. If your child is not vomiting frequently, is reasonably comfortable in between and you are able to give them frequent small amounts of water, they are less likely to become dehydrated and probably don't need to see a doctor. Speak to your GP if they are unwell for longer than 24 hours or sooner if they are newborn or if you notice signs of dehydration.

If you're breastfeeding, keep on doing so even more frequently. Offer older children plenty of water, or an ice-lolly for them to suck. If they want to eat, give them plain foods like pasta or boiled rice (nothing too rich or salty).

Keep them away from others, especially children, who may pick up an infection. Be extra careful with everyone’s handwashing.

More information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diarrhoea-and-vomiting/ 

Download gastroenteritis advice sheet for parents

Head injury
Children have many bangs to the head and it can be difficult to tell whether they are serious or not. Most head injuries are not serious and simply result in a bump or bruise but occasionally head injuries can result in damage to the brain.

One of the signs of a severe head injury is being unusually sleepy; this does not mean you cannot let your child sleep. You need to get medical attention if:
• They are vomiting persistently (more than three times).
• They are complaining it hurts.
• They are less responsive to you.
• Pain is not relieved by paracetamol or ibuprofen.
If they are tired from what’s happened, or from crying, then it is fine to let them sleep. If you are worried in any way about their drowsiness, then you should wake your child an hour after they go to sleep.

More information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/minor-head-injury/ 

Download head injury advice sheet for parents

Services available from your GP surgery

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Your GP surgery team is made up of a range of healthcare professionals with the expertise to help you with your health needs.

Often the perception is that patients have to be treated by a doctor; however this is not always the case as doctors within your GP surgery are supported by a specialist team of nurses, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists and pharmacists.

Below are a series of videos that explain the roles of different staff that might be working within your GP surgery and how they can support you to manage your health and wellbeing.

Care Navigators

Care Navigators are members of the surgery reception team who have been trained to help patients get the right care from the right healthcare professional, as soon as possible, by asking for a little more detail from the patient when they book an appointment.  Watch the video below to find out more:

Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners are highly-trained professionals and can undertake complex reviews of patients, just like GPs. They can assess symptoms and build a picture of a patient's condition, treat minor health problems, infections, minor injuries and prescribe medication where necessary. Read the factsheet on Advanced Nurse Practitioners for more information. Watch the video below to find out more:

Clinical Pharmacist

Clinical Pharmacists are becoming more common place in GP practices and highly skilled at reviewing medications for patients who have long term conditions. They can also treat minor illnesses and refer patients onto other services. Read the Clinical Pharmacist Factsheet for more information. Watch the video below to find out more:

Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare Assistants can assist with a range of minor clinical duties, like taking blood samples, blood pressure checks etc, under the guidance of the wider healthcare professional team. They work alongside the team and support with observing, monitoring and recording patients' conditions to provide joined-up care. Watch the video below to find out more:

Paramedic Practitioner

Paramedic Practitioners or Emergency Care Practitioners carry out home visits and give advice over the phone to patients unable to travel to the surgery. Patients normally seen by a Paramedic Practitioner are normally elderly, infirm or nearing end of life.

This means doctors and other healthcare staff are able to see and treat more patients in the surgery. Watch the video below to find out more:


Musculoskeletal health issues such as back, muscle and joint pains are the most common cause of repeat GP appointments and account for around 1 in 5 of all GP appointments. Most of them can be dealt with effectively by a physiotherapist without any need to see the GP.

Research shows physiotherapists are the most expert professional group regarding musculoskeletal issues with the exception of orthopaedic consultants. They have the same high safety record as GPs and some are trained to administer steroid injections, order diagnostic tests including scans, and also prescribe medication.

Watch the video below to find out more:

Link Workers

Patients visit their GPs for a range of different reasons and sometimes these issues can be caused by non-medical matters such as loneliness, anxiety, unemployment, illness or debt.

Link Workers also known as a Social Prescribers work in partnership with GP surgeries and can help people to access appropriate support in the community to help them make positive changes to your personal wellbeing.

Extended access

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Local residents can now access more evening and weekend appointments with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant. GP practices are working together to offer patients appointments at more convenient times when they call their local practice.

Extended access hours

Monday to Friday: 6.30pm to 8pm

Call 111 to access the out-of-hours service (between 6.30pm and 8am weekdays and all day at weekends or bank holidays).

Weekend and bank holiday appointments

GP and nurse appointments on Saturdays and Sundays and bank holidays can be booked via your own GP practice during business hours, or by calling 01702 742102 on the day. Appointments are available from 9am to 3pm and are available from the following hubs.

Queensway Surgery, 75 Queensway, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AB

North Shoebury Surgery, Frobisher Way, Shoeburyness SS3 8UT 

Weekday evening appointments

Evening appointments (6.30pm to 8pm) with a GP or nurse can be requested by asking at your own GP practice.

Patient Transport Services

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Non-emergency patient transport services provide transport to and from NHS services for people who have a medical need for it.

In south Essex, non-emergency patient transport is provided by East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) and Thames Ambulance Services Limited (TASL) for patients with a medical need. You can find out more about the service provide by EEAST on their website: https://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/your-service/patient-transport.htm

This service uses a wide range of vehicle types and levels of care that are consistent with the patients’ medical needs.

Eligibility for Patient Transport Services

You can call the East of England Ambulance Service to see if you are eligible for Patient Transport Services. You'll be asked a series of questions to determine whether you are eligible, please answer these as accurately as possible.

The number for South Essex patients is: 0300 0134997 

For further information on who is eligible for Patient Transport Services, download the eligibility criteria below:

Patient Transport Services Eligibility Criteria February 2018


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Sepsis is a rare but serious complication of an infection. Without quick treatment, it can lead to mulitple organ failure and death.

Anyone can develop sepsis after an injury or minor infection, although some people are at higher risk such as those with a weakened immune system, a serious illness, the very young or very old, or those who have just had surgery or wounds as a result of an accident.

Find out more about the campaign launched in south east Essex.

Sophie's son George contracted sepsis when he was 10-weeks-old. She tells her story here:  

Spotting the signs of sepsis in children:

Symptom Card Child

Spotting the signs of sepsis in adults:

Symptom Card Adult