Dr Lesley Bayliss, clinical lead for children at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG THOSE of us who are parents will recall the bewildering cocktail of emotions associated with bringing our new-born babies home from hospital for the first time. The great joy of the momentous occasion is tempered by anxiety that we might not cope well with the many challenges of parenthood.
Little wonder then that the first sign of illness can throw young parents into a tailspin. Fortunately, help is now at hand in the form of a free app that we developed with Cheshire East Council and NHS South Cheshire CCG for parents and carers of children aged 0 – 5.
The CATCH app (Common Approach to Children’s Health) gives parents the confidence to know when their little one needs medical treatment or when self-care would a better option. CATCH provides:
NHS-approved health advice
Highly-localised information about healthcare services and support groups in Cheshire East
• Timely notifications about key health dates such as childhood immunisations
• An interactive map of Cheshire East healthcare services.
The app is also highly personalised as parents can input their child’s date of birth and it will only present information relevant to their child’s age.
A recent survey of users found that 91 per cent would recommend the app to a friend or family member while 48 per cent had not attended A&E with their child since downloading the app. In addition, 35 per cent of users said CATCH had helped them feel more confident in self-caring for their child.
These findings show that the app is not only helping parents take great care of their children but is also reducing avoidable hospital activity.
CATCH has been spotlighted in a case study written by the NHS Innovation Agency. The study will be handed to delegates at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester in September.
The app was developed for us by Damibu Ltd after research by the council’s public health team found that the number of children aged 0 – 4 being taken to A&E in the local authority area was well above the national average and that many of the children were being sent home with basic advice and information only. This suggested that self-care would have been a better option for many of the children.
For more information on CATCH or to download it, visit catchapp.co.uk.