Parents 'caught in NHS maze'

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The Independent Online
Families with sick children need special help to find their way through the maze of health services, an expert committee said today. 'Parents who have a sick child are often under enormous stress. Having to find their way round the complex world of health services is an added pressure which leaves many confused and frightened,' Lady Lovell-Davis, the committee's chairman, said.

The report, from the Caring for Children in the Health Services Committee, follows a nine-month study in the Wessex health region, which covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and parts of Avon and Somerset.

It recommends sharing information between families and professionals; giving families equal access to services and providing consultations, tests and treatment as close as possible to each child's home.