Flu or Flu-like illness in chronically ill or disabled children

Messages to health professionals

The parents we met had had many different experiences of hospital doctors, nurses and GPs. The most important thing to them was being listened to and having their views and expertise as parents taken seriously. Parents said their children felt more at ease when they saw familiar faces and liked being remembered.
Parents understood that health professionals had busy and stressful jobs, and they needed to feel confident that their child was getting enough attention. Parents didn’t always understand how the health system, or hospital environment, works. One mother explained that parental anxiety could come across as aggression but says healthcare staff shouldn’t take it that way.
Using the right language when describing children with a long term medical condition or disability was especially important to parents. Using the child’s name was important; so was using correct terminology.
Waj feels that staff need more training about how to communicate effectively with people from different ethnic backgrounds.
When parents were getting used to their child’s long-term medical condition they hadn’t always understood immediately that flu or flu-like illness should be taken very seriously. They needed to have this spelt out.
Several parents when asked what message they had for healthcare professions wanted to say ‘thank you’ for their care and support.


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