About six months ago my daughter came home from school with a small note. It stated there had been an outbreak of head lice at School and asked for all parents to check their child’s hair. This was NOT the first letter we had received. In fact these notes were so regular and almost normal at Sylvia’s previous school that i’d gotten used to them . However this time was different! This time my daughter had nits.
That same evening, my husband took me to a GP appointment. As I was visiting the pharmacy to collect my meds, I decided to get some head lice solution and a nit comb at the same time.
The Pharmacist informed me there was a “minor ailments scheme” that we could sign up to. This would allow my six year old to have certain “medications” for free rather than going to the GP to get the free script.
The aim of the scheme is to give these minor ailment medications to a parent – who would otherwise struggle to afford the medication resulting in an unneeded trip to the GP just for a basic script!
So, John and I were given 2 bottles of nit solution and a comb valued at £16. This was a big relief to us as we were on a tight budget “at the time” and the medications/solutions would have forced us to cut into our food money.
We did not think about the ailments scheme again until this week when my daughter caught a virus. She had a stomach bug which then evolved into a cough. Again we needed cough medication. As we live in a village, I suggested my husband pop into the pharmacy and ask for some cough medication for my child. Did we have £3 to spare this time? Yes. However we genuinely meet the criteria for the “Minor Ailments scheme” and we needed to get the meds locally before school hours and did not have enough time to drive to Asda.
When John got to the pharmacy, he was turned away! In fact he was advised to send my child to the GP if he wanted a free script! Instead he payed for the more expensive cough mixture from our pharmacy.
I was miffed at the fact, the Pharmacy had instructed my husband to take my child to the GP. Doctors charge the NHS large amounts for consultations. That afternoon David Cameron was on the BBC News proposing to borrow billions to improve the NHS and GP services, yet the pharmacy was telling us in effect to “waste NHS money” and see the doctor when we did not need to.
I mentioned our experience on Facebook and to my surprise I was sent a link about a Mother who’s face book message has gone viral! She was telling everyone about the “minor ailments scheme” The mother was of the opinion she had spent years paying for – basic meds, when she could have been getting these for free.
What this Mother failed to understand is that the Scheme is intended to prevent “those who cannot afford children’s medications” from wasting GP time and resources in order to get a free script.
Being part of the blogging community, I have come across posts and comments stating that people should not be abusing the NHS system! I totally agree!
This leads to the question? How do the NHS measure when a parent is or is not abusing the scheme? Should I not use this for my child out of fear of being accused of abusing the system? I cannot physically work- due to my health conditions. My husband was made redundant and is doing everything that I cannot do. I am trying to build a blog to become self sufficient, stretch our income and save for medical treatment- which ironically is unavailable to me on the NHS!
Then there is the issue of children! Are parents abusing the NHS if they get free medication for their children? Some people think so! If medication is free to children anyway- then why such an uproar?
It really comes down to personal experience and opinion. Some people have never struggled and would genuinely feel getting free Calpol or nit lotion is abusive. Other’s who are struggling may see this as a much needed help to ensure their children’s needs are met.
At the end of the day, this scheme is about children and elderly who are sick and vulnerable.
So what can I do to ensure I do not abuse this system?
Firstly as a mother on a low income- I have a responsibility to use my money wisely. I should not waste it but get the essentials and find ways to make do with what I have.
I have not always had plenty of money to buy vitamins or to buy the healthiest food options but I am making my best efforts to budget enough to provide extra vitamins for myself and my child and have been doing for the past six months.
Last year I had a virus, cold or bug every second week- this is no joke. I was continuously ill and even more bed bound than I am now. Likewise my child also had more virus’s than expected.
In the past 6 months, I have only been ill (virus wise) once. The same for my child! Why is this? Vitamins! I started buying a carton of cranberry juice and drinking 100ml of it every day. This has clearly made a difference to my immune system. As for my little girl…she has used Haliborange Vitamin chewy tablets and yes they really do work!
Although we may need to use the ailments scheme from time to time, depending on our income at the time, I can as a mother take responsibility and do my part to ensure I prioritise my money and support both my own and my child’s everyday health.
I can also look for ways to make healthy and nutritious choices when it comes to our breakfast and family meals.
This week I received a gift from Haliborange UK on behalf of my 7 year old daughter.
They sent her a bottle of strawberry flavour “Multivitamin Fruit Softies“– containing vitamin A, C & D.
We also received a lovely Mr Men Book- “Little Miss Sunshine” and my child was very excited to read this with me.
The Strawberry flavour and Strawberry shaped softies smell really yummy. My daughter really liked them and asked if she could have more. I explained they were Vitamins, not sweets and so my daughter agreed to wait for tomorrow to have another.
My Family really are great fans of Haliborange. My sister and I grew up taking these vitamins. My Grandmother (a pensioner) still uses them! I have every intention to continue using this product for my child.
My family may not be rich or loaded with cash but surely as a parent I can try my very best to give my child daily vitamins to support her healthy growth and development.
This is turn will keep her healthy and strong and provide the daily vitamin boost she needs to fight off the nasties- which could potentially put more added pressure upon the NHS.
Yeah for Haliborange!
Disclaimer -The Haliborange products were provided for the purpose of review. However this is a brand I have purchased regularly throughout my life and I intend to stay loyal to!