New mobile app provides expert advice on common childhood illnesses

A free mobile app that was launched in Bath and North East Somerset in March to provide expert advice to parents, carers and health care professionals on common childhood illnesses has already been downloaded 4,000 times.

Developed and approved by paediatric consultants at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and endorsed by local GPs, the HANDi app provides expert advice on how to manage the six most common childhood illnesses; diarrhoea and vomiting, high temperature, chestiness, newborn problems and stomach pain.

Available to download for free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store, the HANDi App will work on any Apple or Android device.

Becky Winterson, consultant at the RUH said:

“This app has been created to help parents and carers if they’re not sure what to do when their child has a common childhood illness. It’s easy to use and takes the parent or carer through a series of questions about the symptoms their child is experiencing and then advises on the best course of action, whether that’s to treat at home, make a GP appointment or to go to A&E.

“This app aims to give parents and carers more confidence in dealing with minor conditions at home. Each of the six common childhood illnesses listed in the app has a home care plan to help parents and carers provide the best support for their child as well as advice about when they should seek further help where necessary.”

Bath resident Becky Banahan, wife of Matt Banahan, Bath and England rugby player, said:

“I’ve got a hectic lifestyle with three young children, two dogs and I run a business so I think this app is perfect for mums like me who want somewhere they can get trusted advice quickly. Plus downloading it onto my phone means I’ve always got it with me.

“I will also find it really useful to check and see whether I need to take my children to the GP or whether I can look after them just as well at home.”

Becky Banahan with her children.

Dr Shanil Mantri, a GP at Newbridge Surgery in Bath said:

“As a local GP, I see lots of parents who struggle with deciding whether to manage their child themselves and when to get help. There is a wealth of information online so it can be hard for parents to know what advice to follow.

“Therefore, having approved the advice given on the range of common childhood conditions in the HANDi app I hope it will give parents the confidence to self-manage as appropriate. The app also advises which healthcare service parents should contact if their child’s illness worsens and when to seek immediate help.”

The HANDi App will be promoted to parents and healthcare professionals across Wiltshire as well as Bath and North East Somerset thanks to the partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council, BaNES Clinical Commissioning Group and Wiltshire CCG.

Information about the HANDi App will be available in nurseries, schools, children’s centres and GP practices across the region.