School nurses work with children and young people
aged from 5 to 19 in the community, whether they attend
school or not.
About this service
School nurses are public health nurses working in the community. They are registered nurses, often with an additional Specialist Community Public Health Nursing qualification at degree or postgraduate level. They have specialist knowledge and skills to enable them to work with children and young people aged from 5 to 19 in the community, whether they attend school or not.
They are based in the community, rather than individual schools, and work as a team in collaboration with education, health professionals and other services which work with children to improve health outcomes for individual children, young people and their families.
They assess and identify community health needs in school settings, offering support and advice on a range of health issues such as emotional health, obesity, sexual health, smoking and substance misuse. School nurses play a vital role in children’s development, carrying out immunisation and screening programmes, and they act as a point of contact for managing medical conditions such as allergies and anaphylaxis, asthma and epilepsy in schools.
School nurses also work closely with social care in order to reduce health inequalities and to keep children and young people safe from harm. This proactive and preventative work is known as Safeguarding. Where harm is already known about or suspected in families, the school nurse teams work with a range of other professionals to support the family to make changes to their lifestyle or care of the child through formal plans of care. This is known as Child Protection.
We aim to provide a service that is visible, accessible and confidential; one young person describes the school nurse as “Someone you know you can trust”.
Our ChatHealth text messaging service can also offer county’s 11-19 year olds confidential advice about their health and wellbeing when they return to education, and is available all year.
The service offers support to young people with questions relating to a wide range of health and wellbeing issues including: relationships, bullying, healthy lifestyle, anxiety, drugs, smoking, stress, body worries, alcohol, self-harm and sexual health. As well as giving advice, the school nursing can signpost to appropriate services and other support.
For young people
The School Nursing Service Model
Below are the 4 Levels of Service outlined by NHS England. These set out what all families can expect from their local school nursing service:
1.Community: School nurses have an important public health leadership role in the school and wider community: contributing to health needs assessments, designing services to reach young people wherever they are, providing services in community environments and working with young people and school staff to promote health and wellbeing within the school setting. School nurses work with others to increase community participation in promoting and protecting health, building local capacity to improve health outcomes.
2.Universal: School nurses lead, coordinate and provide services to deliver the Healthy Child Programme for the 5 to 19 age group. They will provide universal services for all children and young people as set out in the Healthy Child Programme working with their own team and others including health visitors, general practitioners and schools.
3.Universal Plus: School nurses are a key part of ensuring children, young people and families get extra help and support when they need it. They offer ‘early help’ (for example, through care packages for children with additional health needs, for emotional and mental health problems and sexual health advice) and are able to provide care and refer or signpost to other services. Early help can prevent problems developing or worsening.
4.Universal Partnership Plus: School nurses are part of teams providing ongoing additional services for vulnerable children, young people and families requiring longer term support. This can include disadvantaged children, young people and families or those with a disability, those with mental health or substance mis-use problems and risk taking behaviours. School nursing services also form part of the high intensity multi-agency services for children, young people and families where there are child protection or safeguarding concerns.
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