Better Care

Brum school health advisory service launched

A new school health advisory service has been launched to support children and young people throughout Birmingham.

The new service represents a more accessible model of care and has been designed in consultation with young people to best meet the needs of all school-age children in the city.

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has developed an innovative multi-agency, multidisciplinary approach to service delivery, working closely with schools, families and Third Sector partners.

The new service model is designed to ensure a highly accessible and visible presence, with a nurse visiting each secondary school at least once a week and each primary school at least once a fortnight.

school nursing

Additional opportunities to speak to a school nurse outside a child’s normal place of education will be available – a key service enhancement designed to support some of the most vulnerable children such as asylum-seekers, refugees and other newly-arrived families and also those children not attending mainstream schools – for example, those receiving education at home; at the City of Birmingham School pupil referral unit; or within the Youth Offending Service.

A school health advisory service nurse will act as a ‘first port of call’ for children, parents, carers and education professionals, signposting to GPs, hospitals or other healthcare providers as appropriate.

As part of the new service offer, an innovative partnership with children’s charities Barnardo’s, Spurgeons and Family Action ensures ready access to additional specialist expertise and support on a highly individualised basis to meet each child’s particular needs.

The new universal service model is made up of six care pathways, together designed to provide a level of support, care and assessment to every child and extra intervention as and when required.

  • health and medical needs 
  • healthy weight 
  • drugs, alcohol and smoking 
  • emotional health 
  • sexual health 
  • health surveillance. 

In an additional innovation, plans are well developed to introduce a new service enabling children and young people to contact their school nurse by text message, further enhancing the accessibility of school nurse advice and support.

Associate director of universal children’s services Carol Rogerson said: “Our school nursing teams already have a reputation for providing high quality healthcare support to all school-age children and, where a need is identified, additional support to the most vulnerable young people and their families.

“This new service has been designed in a real spirit of collaboration, taking the views of young people and experienced school nurses to build on what has worked well in the past and to think about how we can add greater flexibility and responsiveness to that."

Birmingham City Council commissioners awarded BCHC the contract to provide the school health advisory service for the city for two years with options on a further two 12-month extensions.

Birmingham Community Healthcare provides school nursing and health advisory services for children and young people in Birmingham, Sandwell and Staffordshire (with the exception of Stoke-on-Trent).

Click here for more information about school health services provided by  Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.