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Children’s Community Nursing Teams on ‘Bronchiolitis Alert’
Monday 28th November, 2011

Children’s Community Nursing Teams on ‘Bronchiolitis Alert’
Children’s Community Nursing Team who are based at Claire House Lower Ince Health Centre

The Children’s Community Nursing Team in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan is advising parents of babies and toddlers to look out for the signs of common winter breathing infections and think carefully about the kind of treatment their children might need.

Bronchiolitis is a common infection that affects babies and young children and puts significant strain on NHS hospitals each year as the cold weather kicks in. However, staff within the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Children’s Community Nursing Team of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, are specially trained to treat youngsters at home. They are urging parents to discuss with their GP how their Children’s Community Nursing Team can help.

Nicola Swift, Children’s Community Nursing Clinical Lead said: “This is the time of year when A&E waiting rooms are busy with babies and children suffering from bronchiolitis, flu and other winter illnesses and we can often help. Bronchiolitis is one of the most common winter infections and, although we advise that parents who see severe symptoms seek emergency care urgently, in many cases their condition is mild enough to be safely managed at home or in local clinics by our team of specialist children’s nurses. Parents should ask their GP about the services that Children’s Community Nurses in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan can offer.”

The illness is so common that it is estimated that up to 50% of all children will have suffered from bronchiolitis by the time they reach two years of age. Early symptoms are similar to those of a common cold, such as a runny nose and cough, but can often develop to include a raised temperature, dry and persistent coughing and difficulty feeding.

Nicola added: “With regular monitoring and enough fluids, the vast majority of babies and toddlers will recover in a couple of weeks. During that time, we can offer parents peace of mind by visiting when required, helping them to avoid the inconvenience of an unnecessary visit to hospital and ensuring more children can stay at home with their families. Only in the most severe cases would admission to hospital usually be required, such as when a child has difficulty feeding or breathing or has underlying health issues.”

Children’s Community Nursing Teams throughout Greater Manchester are staffed by nurses with the specialist skills required to provide routine treatment at home and at local, nurse led clinics. GPs and staff at local hospitals often have the option to refer children and young people into the care of community teams if their condition can be safely managed at home.

GPs in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan can refer children and young people to the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust Community Nursing Team based at Claire House, Lower Ince, Wigan via 01942 481345 between 0800-1800 hours Monday to Friday.

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