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Children and Young People

Join the Start Well residents' panel

Your local NHS is recruiting resident representatives to support our Start Well programme.

Start Well is a new long-term piece of work that aims to make sure NHS services in North Central London (NCL) deliver outstanding, safe and timely care for pregnant people, babies, children, young people and their families.

We are looking for people aged 18 or over in Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington who have recent experience (during the last three years) of our maternity, neonatal, and children and young people’s services to help guide and inform the programme.

There are two ways to get involved:

  • Join our online panel of around 100-150 people where you will be asked to comment on suggestions, answer questions, give your perspective, contribute to online discussions, respond to questionnaires, and take part in online meetings. This is a time commitment of around 30 minutes a month.
  •  We are also recruiting six people to have more in-depth involvement as part of our Resident Reference Group. These people will represent the views they hear from the online panel at different project meetings. This is a time commitment of a few hours a month to attend meetings (mostly held online).

For more information go to Start Well – NLP Engagement hub

Asthma - three key asks to improve lives

In North Central London improving the lives of children, young people and their families who have asthma is a key priority. It is estimated that in every classroom of children there will be three who will have asthma; this can lead to children missing school due to ill health, end up in hospital emergency departments and sometimes sadly die. This can be avoided if children and young people have good asthma care which includes having an asthma review after every attack and at least once a year, knowing how to use an inhaler correctly, having a written asthma action plan and knowing about the potential impact of air pollution on a person’s asthma.

North London Partners are working together with a range of stakeholders including; children, young people and their families, schools, hospitals, GPs, community health services, public health, pharmacies, housing, air quality teams and many more to develop a plan and way of working to address this problem.

Three simple measures if used consistently for all children and young people with asthma, would have a massive impact on the quality of life for these children and young people.

  • The use of a written asthma action plan drawn up between a clinician and asthma sufferer means people are four times less likely to have to go to the hospital for their asthma.
  • Ensuring every child or young person (and their families/carers) understands how to use their inhaler effectively. Less than three-quarters of children and young people have any form of instruction in how to use their inhalers meaning they may not be getting the full benefit of their asthma medication
  • An asthma review every year and after every attack will ensure those with asthma recognise their triggers and are able to manage their condition effectively.

See also

Coughs and colds in children: advice for parents and carers

The NHS is seeing an increase in respiratory illness in children, as COVID restrictions ease and people mix more.

For the majority of children, respiratory illnesses (coughs and colds) are not serious and they will soon recover following rest and plenty of fluids.

But some children under two, especially those born prematurely or with a heart condition, can experience more severe illness.

Parents and carers are encouraged to look out for symptoms of a severe infection and to contact a healthcare professional when concerned.

Local GP, Dr Oliver Anglin said: “Respiratory infections in children are very common and most of the time your child can be looked after safely at home, without seeing a doctor.

“Symptoms of severe respiratory infection in children include a dry and persistent cough and finding it hard to breathe – which could be rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing) or drawing in of the muscles below their lower ribs, at their neck, or between their ribs.

“You should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if your child has problems breathing, has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more, or has a persistent high temperature of 38C or above.

“I recommend you have a look at this great, simple NHS health advice for parents and carers booklet which will help you work out whether your child can be looked after at home with some help from the pharmacist or if they need to be seen by a doctor.”

To download the booklet, available in English and community languages, see downloads section.

Children and Young People's services across NCL

Children and Young People’s (CYP) services across NCL at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Royal Free Hospitals, North Middlesex, University College London Hospitals (UCLH), Whittington Health, Central and North West London NHS Trust, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust and Tavistock & Portman have been working collectively to maximise their benefit for children and young people throughout the Covid-19 response.

Reopening children and young people’s emergency and inpatient care

Last year, temporary changes were made to children and young people’s services in North Central London to ensure patients and families could continue to receive safe and high quality care during a period of increased demand for services due to Covid-19. This led to children and young people’s emergency and inpatient services being moved from the Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital to the southern hub at the Whittington Hospital.

We have now reopened the children and young people’s accident and emergency departments and general inpatient wards at University College Hospital and at the Royal Free Hospital.

If any parent is unsure where they should take a child in need of emergency treatment they should visit or call the NHS 111 service. In a life-threatening emergency dial 999 immediately.

Paediatric emergency services

For anyone aged under 18 who needs care in an accident or an emergency situation, please visit to find the closest A&E department.

In an emergency, Ambulance Services will automatically take patients to alternative hospitals during this period.

In an emergency dial 999.


Immunisations for young children and baby checks after birth are essential for children’s health and are still being delivered by NCL GPs. For more information go to NHS vaccinations and when to have them