Greater role for school nurses

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Pupils are to be given better access to school nurses, including being able to text them for appointments, under the Government’s new proposals to improve health in schools.

School nurses will have a greater role in the lives of pupils, including educating and supporting children and young people in relation to issues such as obesity, drugs, alcohol and teenage pregnancy.

Currently, many pupils find it difficult to see a school nurse because they are too embarrassed or shy to seek help or because they do not know how to make appointments. By encouraging the use of email and text technology, the Government hopes that pupils will be able to overcome these barriers to access.

“We want young people to be able to speak to their school nurses more often so they get sound health advice”, says Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley. “Pupils have told us they want to be able to make appointments by text rather than going through the teacher, so that’s something we’re going to put into action.”

The Department for Health (DfH) has enlisted three hundred young volunteers to help formulate plans for how school nurses care for young people. These “school nurse champions” will work with DfH officials to help develop concrete proposals to improve access to school nurses and to improve the advice and assistance that nurses provide.

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