New ‘vision’ launched for school nursing services in England

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School nursing leaders unveiled their ‘vision’ for how services in England should be designed and delivered, with a focus on strengthening the workforce and its leadership.

The School Nurses and Public Health Association (SAPHNA) has launched a 72-page blueprint that outlines a new model of school nursing service delivery, guided by evidence and best practice, with the aim of ‘help’ rebuild ‘these services.

“The SAPHNA vision for school nursing provides a strong evidence-based model on which to reconstruct school nursing services”

Sharon White

It examines the impact of “year-over-year” reductions in public health grants that have forced cuts in school nursing services, coupled with the continued burnout and loss of school nurses over these years. last years.

In addition, the report takes into account the effects of Covid-19 on children and young people, including the “glaring inequalities and the as yet unknown and incalculable physical and collateral damage” that the pandemic has caused.

Proposing several recommendations and principles to boost school nursing services and better serve the health and well-being of children and young people, SAPHNA hopes that its Vision for School Nursing ‘Influence’ key stakeholders to ‘shape school nursing services for the future’.

In the document, a new delivery model is proposed through three delivery levels: universal reach, personalized response and specialist assistance.

The ‘universal reach’ level of the model focuses on supporting development and healthy lifestyles for all children and youth, while the ‘personalized response’ aspect covers those who need additional support and need help early.

Meanwhile, the “specialized support” level aims to support children and young people with more complex or significant needs, who may need the help of several services working together.

The protection of children and young people would be a “key element” throughout the model, the report noted.

Sharon White

The report says this model will help identify opportunities to “minimize risk factors and improve protective factors through evidence-based interventions at important stages of childhood and adolescence”.

It will also strive to promote the health and well-being of all children and youth, which SAPHNA says is “the key to closing the achievement gap and reducing health inequalities”.

SAPHNA’s vision is based on a set of principles which include the need to ’empower’ school nurses and their ‘professional autonomy’, as well as the focus on providing an evidence-based service that is co-produced with children and young people. By using it.

The report states that every school nursing service across the country should be “headed by a school nurse specializing in community public health (SCPHN) with additional qualifications in leadership and development.”

He adds that the SCHPN “must continue to be a recognized qualification” for a school nurse and as a registerable qualification with the nursing regulator.

The recommendations come as the Council of Nurses and Midwives continues to controversially revise its post-registration standards.

In addition, SAPHNA proposed that “each mainstream secondary school and its group of partner primary schools will have a full-time appointed school nurse,” who would be “responsible for coordinating the delivery of services in those schools and the local serving community. these schools. ”.

This is an argument made by others in recent weeks, as reported Breastfeeding time.

“Appointed school nurses will work in teams supported by a skilled blended workforce that includes staff nurses, childcare workers and health care support workers who will work in and alongside multi-agency teams and working models, ”the report also recommended.

It has also launched appeals for funding to support school nursing services and this vision, as well as to improve data collection on outcomes for children and youth.

Sharon White, CEO of SAPHNA, said the vision “provides a strong evidence-based model on which to rebuild school nursing services.”

She added: “We have a three-level service delivery model; universal reach, personalized response and specialized support with child and youth protection as a key element throughout the model.

“The model is built on the principles of proportionate universalism, offering a service universally accessible to all, but offering additional help to those who need it most.

“It is hoped that this will influence key government departments, commissioners, providers and our key stakeholders to shape school nursing services suitable for the future. “

The report was developed by Elaine Davies and Sallyann Sutton, members of the SAPHNA committee, in collaboration with school nurses, the Association of Public Health Directors, the Association of Local Governments and colleagues in education, among others.

It was officially launched during a virtual event organized by SAPHNA on Friday, October 22.

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