Here in Suffolk, our school nurses are committed to improving outcomes for children and young people by keeping children safe, supporting children to go to school, and ensuring that children and young people maintain good physical health and emotional wellbeing.
Please note, our School Nursing Service does not include Lowestoft and Waveney areas, which is covered by East Coast Community Health Care.
You can also find useful information about children's health on the Healthy Suffolk website.
What do school nurses do?
Our school nurses provide the Healthy Child Programme to ensure a healthy start for children and young people aged between 5-19 years old through five key pathways based on physical health and development, sexual health, emotional health and wellbeing, as well as further support which aims to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience and safeguarding.
We support children and parents to ensure they have access to a range of services. We offer:
- Targeted support at key transition points, with seamless links from the health visiting service
- To attend new parent meetings
- Assemblies at key transition points
- Health questionnaire and targeted intervention in Reception
- National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) in Reception and Year 6
- Hearing and vision screening in Reception
- Health assessments for Year 6, Year 10 and pupils transferring into Suffolk (currently being developed)
- ChatHealth virtual school nurse messaging service (click on the ChatHealth tab next to this one for more information)
- Half-termly confidential health ‘drop-ins’ in primary schools for parents
- Twice monthly confidential ‘drop-ins’ in middle schools
- Weekly confidential ‘drop-ins’ in secondary schools for pupils offering Suffolk c-card condom scheme, chlamydia testing, pregnancy testing and emergency hormonal contraception provision
- Regular confidential 'drop-ins' in pupil referral units and special schools
- Range of parental health workshops in special schools
- Termly locality training for schools on management of asthma, epilepsy and anaphylaxis
- Individual training in schools where involved
- Education, Health and Care plan support where involved
- Follow up if required for accident and emergency attendance and police domestic abuse referrals
- Health advice, signposting and referrals
- To support schools to identify health needs within their school community, and work with them to create a health and wellbeing action plan. (This is currently being piloted in two areas with the aspiration to increase participation to all schools)
With more and more children and young people using mobile devices as part of their daily lives, we have introduced a virtual school nurse service. ChatHealth is an easy way for young people aged 11-19 to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment with a school nurse. They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services.
Messages sent to the dedicated number are delivered to a secure website, and responded to by the Suffolk School Nursing Team.
Text a school nurse on 07507 333356
The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm excluding bank holidays.
Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a ‘bounce–back’ message that explains where to get help, and when they can expect a response. Texts are replied to within one working day.
Please note, we are aiming to make ChatHealth available to younger pupils, pupils in special schools and parents later this year.
Contacting a school nurse
Our confidential service can be accessed by parents and children/young people directly by telephone or at regular drop-ins at schools, as well as by referral.
Here are details of our school nursing teams.
The West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has produced some health service guides, which also detail the school nursing details for West Suffolk.
Specialist school nursing team
The specialist school nursing team provide a county-wide service for children and young people who attend a number of the special schools in Suffolk.
Visit the Suffolk Local Offer website to find out more about the specialist school nursing service.