About our service
The special school nursing team is a citywide service providing nursing care and support across 27 special schools. The team comprises a mix of registered children’s nurses; learning disability nurses; complex care enteral feeding assistants and a school nurse assistant, whose roles and responsibilities are overseen by three team leaders, a clinical lead, service manager and head of service.
Each special school has a dedicated team of registered nurses and support staff responsible for the health and wellbeing of children during the school day. Some special schools will have a dedicated team based within the school five days per week term time. There are also three registered nurses available during school holidays.
Special School Nurses undertake a range of activities aimed at improving and maintaining the health of children and young people – often with complex health needs – to attend school, maximising opportunities, enabling each child or young person to reach their full potential.
Who do we work with?
We work during the school day with any child or young person (age 2 to 19 years of age) on roll in any of the 29 special schools in Birmingham. The service operates from 8.30am to 4.30pm, mainly during term time with a limited service during school holidays.
What do we do?
We undertake an assessment and develop a care plan for every new starter in special school. We reassess and evaluate care plans as required, dependent on individual pupil needs and circumstances.
Nurses based in special school will in addition to carrying out direct nursing care also supervise safe clinical procedures which are carried out by junior nursing staff, complex care enteral feeders and teaching assistants, who have undertaken competency based training.
The special school nursing team will provide advice support and signposting to other services for a wide range of disabilities and healthcare needs.
How we work
Regular clinics are held in schools with:
- consultant paediatricians
- consultant psychiatrists
- learning disability professionals
- paediatric dieticians
Special school nurses work closely with social workers from the disabled children’s social care team to support access to respite care and community resources for sport, play and leisure. Where there may be concerns around the safety and wellbeing of a child, for whatever reason, special school nurses will work in collaboration with the BCHC safeguarding team and relevant social care team to support children and their families in overcoming difficulties.
We work in collaboration with teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors and transport guides to ensure that each individual pupil's needs are met.
We support this through:
- undertaking an assessment and writing a care-plan for each new pupil starting in a special school which is updated as needs change whilst the pupil is attending a special school;
- providing clinical treatments during the day while pupils are in school;
- identifying possible problems with vision, hearing or dental health and making referral to appropriate service;
- monitoring a child young person’s growth and development and raising any concerns;
- supporting immunisation programmes within the school setting;
- identifying children who are at risk of failing to reach their full potential either through ill health affecting attendance or from the pressures families experience in caring for a child or young person with learning disabilities or difficulties; and providing appropriate support, advice or signposting to other services;
- working with teachers, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, psychiatrists, dietitians, hospital consultants, nurse specialists, GPs and other agencies to provide ongoing care and support for children and their families;
- providing training, information and guidance to education colleagues, enabling them to provide safe & effective care to pupils with additional health care needs;
- contributing to the education, health and care plan (EHC) ensuring pupils health needs are appropriately met and managed while in school;
- completing annual health assessments for children and young people who are in care;
- offering health education, support and advice to individual pupils during confidential drop-in sessions, as part of taught sessions with teaching staff or at the specific request of parents/carers.
The special school nursing team aims to provide health care for the children and young people in special schools that is personalised, with minimal disruption to the school timetable.
Mental Health Services