Seeking medical attention for children who are unwell

Date: Wednesday 20 May 2020
Author: Dr Charlotte Pennycook, GP, Named GP for Safeguarding for Children and Adults in Richmond borough

I would like to reassure parents and carers, that GP practices are still open and available for families. 

We are continuing to see patients, by using different methods for consultations, such as phone or video call - which are often more practical for patients and avoid the need to travel – or afterwards in the surgery if it is necessary, making sure that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is treated elsewhere. 


An excellent source of information for GPs and families is the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. They have several helpful pages and resources for parents and families, please read: 

Vaccinations to stay well

If you were to ask me what is the one easy thing that parents/carers can do to keep their child well, then I would say to ensure they keep their child’s immunisations up-to-date so that they have the protection they need. 

Health visitors 7 days a week

Being a new parent can be a worrying time and sometimes a friendly face, with experience and knowledge, is just what a parent needs. Health visitors are available to do just that and can provide support on a range of topics.  They are now available 7 days a week, with a duty telephone line open at weekends from 9am to  5pm for advice. 

Contact the team on 0330 058 1679 or email them at

Mental health support

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and increasing numbers of young people in our borough experience poor mental health or exhibit risky behaviours, such as drug-taking or under-age drinking. 

Across south west London, the NHS has invested in Kooth - an online counselling and emotional well-being service for people aged 11-22 years. It’s anonymous, free, and children and young people can access articles and professional counselling up until 10pm, 365 days a year.

The Richmond Wellbeing Service provides treatment for a range of mental health conditions and is for people aged 18 years or above.  A young person can self-refer by completing a form online. 

Mental health support can also be found from the GP, school, NHS website and other organisations, for example, Young Minds.

Where to find health advice and treatment

Updated: 13 July 2020