A B&NES paramedic is urging parents and carers of children who started school this September to download an app that gives expert medical advice about the most common childhood conditions.
Jon Hammond-Williams, the Frequent Caller Lead at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust who is based in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), said: “HANDiApp is a really useful tool that exactly matches the guidance that we provide our paramedics in the field.
“The app can help you understand what care is the right care for a child, and the main thing is, it’s so easy to use.
“You just select exactly what you want for the scenario you’re in, for example ‘parents at home, with a child experiencing chestiness’ – then it’s literally yes and no answers until you get given the appropriate advice.”
The app was originally developed at Musgrove Park hospital in Taunton, and has been adapted by local paediatricians at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.
It was launched in B&NES and Wiltshire for the first time in March 2017, and in its first year was downloaded over 14,000 times.
Not only is the app designed to provide advice to parents, carers, teachers and anyone else working with children, it is also used by GPs, health visitors and other healthcare workers, so the advice everyone receives is exactly the same.
Local GP and Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group Board member Dr Daisy Curling said: “I use this app all the time, both as a parent and when I’m advising patients with young children.
“It’s perfect to have handy at this time of year, as the new school term starts and we start to see an increase in the number of childhood illnesses going around the community.”
Paramedic Jon believes one of the app’s main strengths is the fact it includes recommendations for how to look after poorly children wherever they are – at home, at school or while away visiting friends and family, as well as advice for parents and carers of children who are in hospital.
“Please consider downloading this tool – it’s free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. You don’t need to have clinical knowledge to be able to work it, but it will still come out with the appropriate clinical advice,” he said.