New standards to ensure children in special schools in Wales receive high quality healthcare from school nurses have been unveiled this week by ministers.
The Welsh government said the main aim of the new special schools nursing framework was to enable a “more consistent approach” for children in special schools.
“I am delighted to be able to launch the new framework for nurses working in special schools”
It would achieve this by ensuring children have access to both mainstream and specialist services, the government said in a statement announcing the framework.
The framework is intended to set out how nurses work with children, schools and families to ensure those in special schools receive the same “high standard of healthcare” as mainstream pupils.
For example, this means special schools nurses make the “reasonable adjustments” to help children to get the healthcare they need, noted the government statement.
Equally important, it highlighted was that the framework would ensure children and families received “specialist healthcare when needed”.
The framework also sets out what is expected to ensure children with significant additional needs who require health care input within other schools are supported, added the government.
Part of this is making sure other professionals in community and specialist teams can work in a co-ordinated manner with the child when in school, it said.
This will involve taking a “team around the child” approach, it said, recognising the “important role that special schools nurses have in making sure this happens”.
During the framework’s early implementation phase, the government said it would be looking at how children’s community teams operated to “help develop a more co-ordinated and cohesive approach to supporting children and their families”.
The framework “reflects the aspirations” of the Welsh government’s long-term plan for health and social care – A Healthy Wales – it stated, noting that promoted the public health role of nurses.
“Supporting early identification of health issues that affect children is an important part of the health promotion role of the nurse,” it added.
Huw Irranca-Davies, minister for children, older people and social care, said: “I am delighted to be able to launch the new framework for nurses working in special schools.
“This important work builds on the existing school nursing framework which describes the health care for all children in schools across Wales,” he said.
“I see the role of the special schools nurse as pivotal in ensuring that care is co-ordinated, families and carers are included and that children with additional needs have access to the care that they need,” he said. “I want to recognise and acknowledges the excellent work that special school nurses do.”
He added: “The framework I’m unveiling is designed to support them by providing consistency of approach, ensuring they provide the very best care and support to children in every school across Wales.”