Oxford Health and our partner organisations across Oxfordshire are urging parents and carers of children and adolescents whose physical and mental health may be at risk to get the help they need.

Mental health

If you are worried about the mental wellbeing of a child or young person, Oxford Health has a wealth of information to help and guide you.

Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for Oxfordshire – often known as CAMHS – has a range of self-help resources that will help you understand some of the common mental health problems young people experience and what you can do to help.

These are aimed at parents, carers and young people, there are also self-help videos with accompanying worksheets and a downloadable information booklet.

These resources – Understanding and Coping with Anxiety  and Fighting back depression and low mood – will help you understand some of the issues young people experience and what you can do to help.

However, if you are concerned about a young person’s mental health and need advice, you can phone the Oxford Health 24/7 mental health advice line specifically for children and young people in Oxfordshire on 01865 904998.

Specially trained advisers are available to make it easier and quicker to get the right advice or support that children and young people need for their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Vicky Norman, Acting Head of Oxfordshire CAMHS, said: “With the coronavirus pandemic many young people and parents are feeling more anxious than usual and getting worried, this is entirely understandable in the circumstances.

“Parents and carers are best placed to understand and know the support young people may need, but during these uncertain times it can be hard to know what to say or do.

“Our website and advice line are there to offer the support you may need or point you in the right direction. The information is intended to help you and them understand if what they are feeling is normal or is something that needs further help and exploration.”

Please visit https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/oxon/ for more information

Physical health

If you are worried about the health of your baby or child, please call 111 or contact your GP practice – they are open and will be able to give advice and support, and arrange if necessary for a face-to-face appointment with a doctor or nurse.

If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

The Emergency Departments at both the John Radcliffe and Horton General Hospitals are still open to anyone who becomes ill with any serious health conditions or injury.  This applies to both adults and children, with both JR and Horton having dedicated areas to review and assess younger patients.  These are open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our Minor Injury Units are open to adults and children and can treat a wide variety of problems including cuts and grazes, sprains and strains, broken bones (fractures), bites and stings

  • Abingdon Community Hospital 10am to 10.30pm
  • Townlands Memorial Hospital in Henley-on-Thames 9am to 8pm
  • Witney Community Hospital 10am to 10.30pm.

Children should continue to have routine immunisations to protect them from other serious diseases. Parents can contact their GP to arrange an appointment.

Dr Kiren Collison, GP and Clinical Chair at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “We understand that parents and carers of children who need medical help may be reluctant to go to their doctor or hospital.

“They may be worried about coronavirus or they may just not want to ‘bother’ doctors and nurses during this challenging time but it is essential that children get the medical help they need. More often than not a serious illness can be prevented from getting worse if help is sought in the early stages.”

Dr Shelley Segal, Clinical Director for Children’s Services at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our teams are working hard to ensure that children receive the care and support they need when unwell, and it is very important that parents and carers are aware that this help is always available in order to prevent a child from deteriorating and becoming more unwell.

“Our staff are here for you and your family, and will treat any serious conditions or ailments your child may have. We have systems in place to triage patients with suspected COVID-19, so everyone who comes to our hospitals will be treated in a safe and protected manner.”

The Royal College of Physicians has produced a useful guide for parents about when and where to seek help when their child is unwell – you can download it from their website.