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'Excellent' school nurses honoured

Pioneering work to support vulnerable children in Sandwell has earned national recognition with the award of a prestigious accolade for excellence in school nursing. 

The Sandwell vulnerable children's team won the Cavell Nurses' Trust award for excellence in school nursing.

The team - part of the borough-wide school nursing service - impressed judges with their determination over many years to first introduce and then extend the support available to families whose children are not in a mainstream or special school.

Sandwell school nursing team receive the Cavell excellence award

Children who, for example, attend a pupil referral unit, are home-educated, excluded from school or newly-arrived in the UK, would not routinely be seen by the universal school nursing service.

To address this, the Sandwell team has steadily established strong links with education establishments and local authority partners to minimise the risk of children and young people missing out on healthcare support to which they are entitled and to provide them with the best opportunity to fulfil their potential.

School nurse team leader Heidi Ferrier-Hixon said: "We are really passionate about this model. A lot of the most vulnerable children miss out on the routine opportunities to access the school nursing service because of their personal circumstances.

"We have worked very hard to develop this service over many years so this recognition is very much appreciated."

Clinical director for children and families services Dr Doug Simkiss said: "This is very well deserved recognition and I would like to offer many congratulations to a great team."

Birmingham Community Healthcare provides the universal school nursing service in Birmingham and Sandwell.