Better safe than sorry

Future scenario

When, on a Sunday morning outing, eight year old Olivia fell off her bike and banged her head, her mother Gemma didn’t know what to do. She thought about driving to A&E or dialling 999 but remembered seeing posters saying that 111 was a better option for injuries that were not serious or life threatening.

She called 111 and they arranged for Olivia to see a GP later that morning. The GP, Martin, examined Olivia and advised Gemma about what to look out for following a head injury, and what to do if Olivia’s condition changed. Martin directed Gemma to the NHS Choices website for further information.

In the afternoon, and using the information that she had been given, Gemma became concerned that Olivia was getting worse, not better. Following the advice that GP Martin had given her earlier she took Olivia to the hospital. The specialist children’s team could access Olivia’s notes and details of what had happened so Gemma didn’t need to repeat her story. Olivia was observed for six hours and discharged fit, well, and keen to get back to playing with her friends.