Trailblazing scheme praised

A TRAILBLAZING Ipswich children's centre is making giant strides in helping to reduce the number of toddlers needing emergency hospital treatment.A report compiled by the South East Ipswich Sure Start Centre suggests that their work has contributed to a significant drop in the number of children up to four-years-old needing emergency treatment.

A TRAILBLAZING Ipswich children's centre is making giant strides in helping to reduce the number of toddlers needing emergency hospital treatment.

A report compiled by the South East Ipswich Sure Start Centre suggests that their work has contributed to a significant drop in the number of children up to four-years-old needing emergency treatment.

The centre works to support families with young children in some of Ipswich's most deprived areas, such as Gainsborough, Greenwich, Priory Heath and Racecourse.

For the past three years, professionally-trained staff at the centre have launched a number of initiatives to reduce the number of children being admitted to the accident and emergency department with severe injuries or conditions such as gastroenteritis and respiratory infections.


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This work is delivered through an accessible low cost safety equipment scheme, home visiting programme and advice and support which is available in person or by telephone at the centre.

Fun activities are organised during the annual child safety week and smoking cessation support can help reduce respiratory problems in childhood.

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Groups offering food hygiene training have been well attended resulting in many parents gaining a nationally recognised certificate.

In the past year, the initiatives have been showing significant signs of success. In 2003-04 a total of 214 children under the age of four attended accident and emergency, but this was reduced to 188 in 2004/05, a drop of 5 per cent.

During the same period the number of children under four years old diagnosed with a serious injury, gastroenteritis or a respiratory infection after being admitted to accident and emergency has dropped from 72 to 61.

Judy Bailey, a health visitor based at the centre, said: “We continue to look for new ways to work with parents and our professional partners to deliver positive outcomes for the families in this area.”

N Have your children benefited from the Sure Start scheme? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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