A NEW scheme means poorly youngsters in the town can now avoid making the trip to hospital.

The Paediatric Acute Response Team (PART) treats and monitors under 18s who have illnesses including fevers, diarrhoea and urinary tract infections.

After completing a successful six month pilot scheme at Bath Street in the town centre, PART is now taking referrals from doctors’ surgeries across the whole of Warrington.

Dr Andy Davies, chairman of Warrington CCG, said: “For example a child might come to a GP or into A&E with a high temperature.

“The doctor is pretty certain the child is fine but might want some further observation just in case it’s more serious than a viral infection.

“Before the PART the only option was a hospital admission, which is often a bit of a waste of time for the parents and children.”

During the pilot, 390 youngsters were referred from Warrington A&E, GP surgeries or visited for a check-up after being discharged from hospital.

The joint venture between Bridgewater Community HealthCare Trust and Warrington and Halton Hospital Foundation Trust, supported by Warrington CCG, involves acute paediatric nurses from Warrington Hospital working alongside community nurses to prevent unnecessary A&E hospital admissions after national figures revealed 30 per cent of children’s hospital admissions are avoidable.

The PART team can also remove stitches, apply wound dressings, and take blood tests with plans in the future to work alongside specialist nurses looking after children with long-term conditions like asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.

Dr Ipsita Chatterjee, clinical lead for children and young people for Warrington CCG, added: “I am delighted that we have managed to get care closer to home for minor childhood illnesses.

“This will hopefully help and support a lot of families to look after their ill children at home without needing to attend accident and emergency department or being admitted to the hospital.”

TRACEY Appleton and her daughter Shannon have already experienced the benefits of the new system after the 17-year-old had 60 stitches following a dog attack.

The Warrington Collegiate student has been visiting PART to have the dressings on her wounds changed twice a week since the incident in March.

Mum Tracey, from Orford, said: “She had been over at a friend’s house when I got the call to say she had been attacked.

“The dog bit her and she tried to get away but fell down the stairs.

“Her friend’s mum lifted her away but she needed stitches from the waist down.

“She was shaken up but she’s doing fine now and the staff here have been really nice.”