HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

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.

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