“During the COVID-19 crisis, parents and carers up and down the country have been doing the right thing by keeping children with minor ailments at home and, on behalf of NHS staff, we really want to thank them for their help.
“We’ve recently heard reports of a small but worrying number of cases where children may have become very unwell or even died because they weren’t seen early enough. There could be a number of reasons for this and we’re trying to find out more but our message for parents is clear: if your child is very unwell, we want to see them – we don't want parents to wait or to worry.
“If parents are concerned and can’t get through on the phone, we want them to contact their GP or, if very worried, to go to a local urgent care centre or to A&E. Hospitals have measures in place to help protect people from COVID-19.
“We’ve relayed our concerns to the health departments across all four nations and we’re working with them to ensure that sick children receive proper care when they need it.”