The NHS in Hertfordshire is contacting nearly 57,000 primary school children this December – encouraging parents and carers to call NHS111 if they need urgent medical help for their child. Additional advice includes talking to a pharmacist if their medical concern isn’t urgent.

Around 160 primary schools around Watford, Borehamwood, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Waltham Cross and Welwyn Hatfield will be given enough leaflets to distribute to every single pupil. The double-sided flyers will be included in school book bags – taking these important messages home.

Dr Rafid Aziz, Medical Director of NHS 111 provider for Hertfordshire Herts Urgent Care (HUC), said:

“In Hertfordshire, when you call NHS 111, our fully trained advisers will assess your needs and can connect you to the right healthcare professional.”

“They can arrange a call back or face-to-face appointment with a GP or nurse if you need one and they can also give you advice on how to look after your condition yourself and guidance on any medication you are prescribed.”

Dr Richard Pile, local GP and NHS Herts Valleys CCG clinical lead for urgent care, said:

“During the winter, it’s important for carers of children to know who to get in touch with when they need to seek medical help – which is why we are contacting so many this year.”

“Cold weather can be seriously bad for your health. That’s why it’s important to look after you and your family, especially during the winter. Pharmacists can help with much more than prescriptions. They are experts in medicines and can give non-urgent medical advice. Many pharmacies are open late and on weekends. They also have a consultation room if you’d prefer to speak in private.”

NHS 111 is free to call from any phone, or you can use the online service. If the advisors feel that your child needs to see a doctor or nurse, they can arrange that for you there and then.

If you are worried about your child and need urgent health advice, please call NHS 111 free at any time or go online to www.111.nhs.uk.

To find your nearest pharmacist go to: https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/

For local advice on staying well this winter, please visit: www.healthierfuture.org.uk/winterhealth.