17 Sep 2020

Local GP and CCG governing body member, Dr Hilary Flett, has produced some advice for parents who aren't sure if their child's 'back to school' cold symptoms could be Covid.

Dr Flett, a GP at Mill Street Medical Centre and GP governing body member for NHS St Helens CCG, says that currently a lot of parents are contacting GP practices for advice on their children's coughs and colds and about testing.

Parents are reminded that GP practices - as well as the Urgent Treatment Centre and A&E - cannot provide tests or access to tests.  These can only be booked via the national website: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Dr Flett said: “Back to school in autumn signals the return of coughs and colds, snots and sneezes as children start to mingle again. This year, with Covid-19 added to the mix, it can be really hard for parents to know what to do.

Using this chart below can help parents decide if they need to keep their child off school; when a Covid test is needed and when to seek additional advice and support. Keeping your child in school is really important not only for their education but also for their mental health and wellbeing.”


“The national guidance also feels very confusing to many people. So by sticking to the basics, you won’t go too far wrong!

- Keep reminding your family to socially distance.  2 metres is better than one. 2 metres is roughly an outstretched arm holding a broom handle length- further than you think

- Wash  your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, when you come back home and before meals. Use hand sanitiser when you are out.

- Wear a face covering when you are out and about to reduce spread of the Virus. A Covid cough is a lot worse than the discomfort of a face mask for the very vast majority of people.”

Watch Dr Flett's video message to parents here.