School Nurses are community based teams working with and supporting children and young people aged 5 – 19 and their families, to achieve the best possible health outcomes and to reduce health inequalities. They deliver public health in accordance with the Healthy Child Programme (DoH 2009), Healthy Lives, Healthy People White Paper (DoH 2010) and Getting it right for children, young people and families – Maximising the contribution of the school nursing team (DoH 2012)
The role of the School Nurse is diverse and in addition to improving the health and well being of young people, including good mental health, they are also involved in increasing the capacity of communities to achieve positive health outcomes. This is achieved using specialist public health skills and knowledge and close partnership working with other agencies such as education, other health professionals and social care.
The School Nurse teams provide universal services such as screening programmes, for example, hearing and vision at school entry; the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) at reception and Year 6; and health promotion programmes such as vaccinations for those leaving school. They also provide early interventions to prevent illness and health adversity. Safeguarding children is of paramount importance to the school nursing teams and they provide support for the most vulnerable children and families and those with complex health issues.
In accordance with the views and wishes of young people, school nurses aim to provide a visible, accessible and confidential service.
Healthy Child Programme 0 – 19 (DoH 2009) available here
Healthy Lives, Healthy People White Paper (DoH 2010) available here.
Getting it right for children, young people and families – Maximising the contribution of the school nursing team: Vision and call to action (DoH 2012) available here.
A new text messaging service offering the county’s 11-19 year olds confidential advice about their health and wellbeing. ChatHealth is a service offered by Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust School Nursing Team.
Messages sent to the dedicated number 07507 333351 are delivered to a secure website, and responded to by a GCS School Nurse.
The service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm, excluding bank holidays. Automatic bounce-backs will respond to incoming messages out of hours.
The aim is to further improve access to healthcare for young people, and will offer support relating to a wide range of health and wellbeing issues. Examples include - relationships, bullying, healthy lifestyle, anxiety, drugs, smoking, stress, body worries, alcohol, self-harm and sexual health.
Although the service is confidential and young people do not need to disclose their name, if there is a concern for an individual’s safety, there are safeguarding procedures in place. Young people will still be able to see a School Nurse face to face in a school / college drop in or other settings.
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