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Press release – issued 4 September 2019
Mum sets up new eczema support group for children and their families
A Herefordshire mum has set up a new support group for children affected by eczema and their families after her son was diagnosed with the skin condition at a very young age.
The self-run group takes place on the fourth Thursday of each month, 9.30am to 11.30am, at the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford.
Emily Edwards, from Brimfield, whose son was referred to Hereford County Hospital’s dermatology team at a few months old, said: “The first year of Seth’s life was heart breaking to see him so uncomfortable. However, I had fantastic support from his nurse, Hilary Havard, and after diagnosing six allergies and intolerances, through close management of his diet, and a rigorous skin care routine, his skin condition is under control.
“I set the new support group up with Hilary’s help because it’s important that children and families do not feel alone. At the group we share our experiences, tips, and ways of coping with the condition. If you would like to attend just turn up on the day, or visit our Facebook Herefordshire Eczema support group page or phone me on 07980 693 634”.
Hilary Havard, paediatric dermatology nurse, at Wye Valley NHS Trust, who helps with the new group, said: “Eczema is a dry skin condition which in mild cases causes the skin to be dry, scaly, red and itchy. In more severe cases there may be weeping, crusting and bleeding. Treatment can help relieve the symptoms and many cases can improve over time. However, severe eczema can have a significant impact on children physically and emotionally and their families.
“It’s therefore important that babies and children presenting with moderate to severe symptoms of eczema are referred early to hospital for diagnosis and treatment, alongside the much needed support available through Emily’s new group. We also work closely with the National Eczema Society which offers a wide range of information and advice for families – visit www.eczema.org to find out more”.
Andrew Proctor, Chief Executive of the National Eczema Society, commented: “It can be incredibly hard for parents to care for their babies and children with eczema and it impacts on the whole family. It’s so important for parents not to feel isolated and they can share their experiences with others who really understand what it’s like. We wish every success for this new eczema support group in Hereford”.
Emily and Wye Valley NHS Trust would like to thank the Courtyard Theatre for providing the free venue for the support group meetings.
Left to right: Emily Edwards and her son Seth Edwards, Hilary Havard, dermatology paediatric nurse at WVT, and Dawn Wright with her daughter Hannah and son Toby.
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928