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Scarlet Fever – Advice for parents and carers

Scarlet fever, or ‘Strep A’, is caused by bacteria called group A streptococci (strep).

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious. Therefore, look out for symptoms in your child, which include a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel.

On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually, but will have a sandpapery feel.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP practice if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia.

If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS). While still uncommon, there has been an increase in invasive Group A strep cases this year, particularly in children under 10, and sadly a small number of deaths which are being investigated.

It is important to mention that there are lots of viruses that cause sore throats, colds and coughs this time of year. In most cases, these infections will be a mild illness and can be treated at home. These should resolve without medical intervention. If you do need advice, your community pharmacy is a great first port of call for minor health issues. However, children can on occasion develop a bacterial infection on top of a virus and that can make them more unwell.

As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP practice if:

  • your child is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • your child is very tired or irritable.

Call 999 if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.

Good hand and respiratory hygiene are important for stopping the spread of many bugs. By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up or spreading infections.

What you need to know – advice for parents and carers this winter

This is the first winter without pandemic restrictions in two years, and you and your children may be more susceptible to the usual winter bugs and viruses this year. 

Winter bugs and viruses are usually mild, but can sometimes become more serious, particularly in younger children or if an infection spreads to a vulnerable family member.

There are several common infections that your child might pick up over the winter period. In most cases, these infections will be a mild illness and can be treated at home. However, in some cases they might get worse and require medical help.

Some common infections include:

Flu

Flu can be an unpleasant illness in children causing a fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can last several days or longer.

In most cases, flu will be a mild illness in children.

Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

The best way for your child to avoid flu, to ensure your child is vaccinated against flu. Learn more about the flu symptoms to look out for and who to contact, as well as vaccination.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV is a common winter virus which affects children under the age of two.

Most cases are not serious and cause mild coughs and colds.

It is also the most common cause of bronchiolitis infants. Bronchiolitis can make breathing harder and cause difficulty feeding.

RSV can be more severe in premature babies, babies under 2 months and infants with underlying health conditions that increase their risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection. Breathing in cigarette smoke also increases the risk of a child getting bronchiolitis, so it is important not to smoke around your child.

Learn more about the bronchiolitis symptoms to look out for and who to contact if you have concerns. 

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious and levels are higher than normal this year. Therefore, look out for symptoms in your child, which include a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel.

Contact your GP practice or NHS 111 if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment of scarlet fever with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia.

If your child has Scarlet Fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

Getting help and advice

As a parent, you may know if your child seems seriously unwell and should trust your own judgement.

You should contact your GP practice or call 111 if:

  • your child has had a cold and is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39C or higher
  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • your child is very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child's skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up, or spreading, many bugs. An e-bug resources for Early Years can help you to explain to your child what good hygiene habits are, how they can practice them and why they are important.

 

Going Local:
Social Prescribing in your community

  • Social Prescribing is an opportunity to talk through any worries that might be affecting your health and wellbeing in a safe environment. The service supports you to make positive changes in your life by linking you up with groups, activities, and public services that can help.
  • We meet for hour-long appointments (and up to 6 sessions) to help you to focus on what matters most through shared decision making and support planning. We offer the Going Local service flexibility and tailored to individual needs. We can meet at your GP surgery, at a community venue, by going for a walk together, and also at home if you have a health condition that means it's not possible to get out.
  • The support we refer you to could include: finding volunteering opportunities; improving emotional wellbeing including befriending schemes, peer support, or arts and leisure activities; social aspects of healthy living, which includes non-medical support to manage a long term health condition; and practical support at home to keep safe.
  • Going Local can be accessed via a referral from a GP surgery and or by completing an accessible online referral form

You can find out more about the Going Local service here

To contact the team: communityreferrals@adur-worthing.gov.uk

For an idea of what might be a suitable referral into the service:


Going Local Service Criteria - Nov 2022

NOTICE FOR PATIENTS

We would like to draw your attention to an article in the Sussex Express that states The Orchard Surgery is the busiest surgery in the area as we have far more patients per GP. On average there are 1719 patients for every full time equivalent GP in England. The article states that The Orchard Surgery has 6106 patients and the full time equivalent of 1.4 GPs, meaning we have 4227 patients per GP. These figures are inaccurate as we have regular locum sessions equating to 2.5 full time equivalent and 2400 per GP.

We are in the process of recruiting and the appointment system is currently under review.

We are open and you will be seen face-to-face if necessary. 

Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients where there is a clinical need. You will be asked to first discuss your conditions over the phone with a member of the healthcare team to assess what would be most appropriate for you and which practice member would best provide it.

We have reintroduced some of the services that were suspended during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.  You may be contacted by the surgery to arrange a health review or a blood test.

Your GP surgery has a range of measures in place to keep you safe from Coronavirus including regular cleaning of patient areas and social distancing.  Please ensure that you wear a mask when attending the surgery.

If you have any of the following symptoms:

Temperature (if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back)

Cough (a new, continuous cough)

the advice is to self-isolate and self-care for 5 days.

CQC Rating GOOD

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the surgery on Tuesday 20th March 2018 to carry out a scheduled inspection. The surgery was awarded an overall rating of GOOD.  The results are freely available on the CQC Website. Click here to read more about the CQC and access our inspection report.

Get Well, Keep Well

Of course we’re not just here for when you are unwell. Our team of healthcare professionals and back-up staff offer a number of clinics and services to promote good health and wellbeing whatever your medical condition.  We also recommend that before contacting the surgery with minor conditions that have only been present for a couple of days you contact the Self Care Forum where you will find useful information and leaflets on minor ailments.  You may also be interested in the following video:

 

Practice Policies

Information about our practice policies can be found here, including the rights and responsibilities of patients; confidentiality; information and data protection; and zero tolerance. Our complaints policy can be found here.

Facilities

Reserved car parking spaces for the disabled are marked near the front door of the Health Centre. Wheelchair access to the building is via the front entrance. A lift is provided to access the first floor.

Click here for the Patient Access login screen: PATIENT ACCESS

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