DH finalising programme to develop school nursing
The Department of Health has said it is finalising details of a development programme for school nursing.
The ongoing threat to school nursing was raised last week at a meeting of the all party parliamentary group on primary care and public health, during which DH officials were asked what was being done to prevent further workforce and funding cuts to the service.
In response, DH team leader for children and young people’s public health Richard Sangster said: “There is a real understanding by ministers that school nurses are often overlooked – they call themselves the invisible service.
“And I think there is a real understanding that they need some attention and there is a vision of service being developed for school nursing, which will build on work already taking place in health visiting.”
He added: “My understanding is it will include the role of school nursing, clarifying that together with some exemplar service models.”
A DH spokeswoman told Nursing Times it was “currently finalising the elements” of a development programme for school nursing.
She confirmed the programme will include a “service vision” setting out the public health role of school nurses and their role with children and young people, and within “the school as a community”.
It will also set out their role in supporting children and young people with long-term illnesses, disability and mental health issues at school and, if appropriate, in community settings.
The programme – first promised in October at the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association annual conference by public health minister Anne Milton – will be led by deputy chief nursing officer Viv Bennett.