PARENTS and carers in need of health support and advice can now get it by text.
Parentline, a confidential texting service, has launched in Dorset to support those with children aged from five to 19.
Run by Dorset HealthCare’s School Nursing team, the service offers advice on a range of issues including toileting, sleep, development, behaviour, healthy eating, mental health, bullying, school refusal and exam stress.
Parents and carers simply need to text 07312 263131 and a member of the team will respond.
ParentLine has already been supporting parents and carers of children up to the age of five for just over a year.
One parent, Annalies from Upton, said: “I feel texting is easier than a phone call as my eldest child normally interrupts phone calls and I find it hard to concentrate.
“With a text, I can write it and send it, then give attention to my child.”
Juliet Singleton, from the Trust’s Children and Young People’s Service, said: “It’s fantastic news for parents and carers that we have expanded our ParentLine service to cover the five-19 age group across the county.
“We want to encourage anyone who needs support to text us so we can help them and provide the right advice in an easy, accessible way.”
Parents and carers can seek advice via the five-19 ParentLine service from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday – excluding weekends, bank holidays and school holidays – with a member of the School Nursing team responding to messages within one working day.
If you send text outside these hours, you will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if you need it urgently. ParentLine is not an emergency service – for urgent medical help, contact a GP, NHS 111 or 999.
Specific advice about children aged under five is available by texting 07312 277162. For more information about the ParentLine service for all age ranges, visit www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/parentline