schoolnursingvideoSchool Nursing: Public Heath Services is the latest guidance produced by the Department of Health explaining how they can be implemented and improved so children and young people aged between 5 and 19 receive the right support. 

The four documents: Maximising the school nursing team contribution to the public health of school-aged children; Promoting emotional wellbeing and positive mental health of children and young people; Developing strong relationships and supporting positive sexual health and Supporting the health and wellbeing of young carers all outline the crucial role played by school, health and community nurses in supporting, identifying and referring children and young people towards the right services for their needs. The guidance also shows how health visiting and school nurses are so important in terms of prevention, early intervention, ongoing support and referral to specialist help. 

As well as defining the role of school nurses in the community, the guidance builds on good practice examples, to benchmark and monitor provision of services. This means the Healthy Child Programme (HCP), which school nurses help co-ordinate and deliver, can adequately offer children, young people and their families a schedule of health and development reviews, screening, immunisation, health promotion guidance and tailored support.   

The guidance also includes useful tables of suggested strategies and assessment tools, such as encouraging good mental health through early identification and active referral; reducing obesity rates by promoting physical exercise and healthy eating; and ensuring the emotional wellbeing of looked after children through annual health assessments and early identification of their needs. This is supported with key data, advice on how to build resilience and confidence and ensuring services are properly developed and delivered based on local need, evidence-based intervention and reviewed for impact and positive outcomes. 

You can download all four documents at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-nursing-public-health-services