School nursing

Find out about the School Nursing service which is based around the Healthy Child Programme, and the care we offer parents and their children.

 School Nurse COVID-19 Practice Guides

During the coronavirus pandemic the health and safety of children, young people, families and our staff is our main priority. 

Protocol for children seen by the School Nursing service in the school environment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Child or Young Person at risk of abuse, harm or neglect

If you think a child or young person is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect please call 0808 800 4005.

This is a 24-hour service staffed by a team of professional people who will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions.  For more information, including live web chat, please contact Customer First.

If you need to register with a GP, dentist, find a pharmacy, or access 111 services, please use NHS Service Search.

Information for parents and children and young people

The information that we collect and use for SystmOne health data and your rights regarding your information is available in this privacy notice.

In the sections below you can find out who we are, how we can help you and your child along with details of how to contact our school nursing teams.

Find information and advice on a range of topics below.

Within Suffolk, our School Nursing teams are part of our Health and Children's Centre Service. We provide a range of services to help you and your family stay safe, happy and healthy.

There are five School Nursing teams across Suffolk. These are:

  • Lowestoft and Waveney
  • North East Ipswich and Coastal
  • South and West Ipswich
  • Central and South Suffolk
  • West Suffolk

We also work alongside other agencies such as:

  • health visitors
  • GPs
  • schools
  • voluntary and community groups
  • other children's services, such as social care

Health for Kids

If you are a parent of a young school age child please visit the Health for Kids website which provides useful information from health professionals that will help you ensure your child's health and wellbeing. 

Health for Teens

If you are a young person, please visit the Health for Teens website which provides useful information from health professionals about your health and wellbeing. 

School Nurses are qualified nurses or midwives with specialist community public health training and can offer families with children aged 5 to 19 years:

  • support for the health and well-being of your whole family, with seamless links from the health visiting service
  • support to ensure your child is reaching their full potential
  • advice on the immunisation programme, which ensures your child is protected against disease and infection
  • specialist support, advice and information on wider issues such as anxiety, stress and depression
  • National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) in Reception and Year 6
  • hearing and Vision screening in Reception
  • access to a range of parental workshops in schools
  • ChatHealth, our school nursing texting service
  • health assessments for Year 6, Year 10 and pupils transferring into Suffolk (currently being developed)
  • confidential health 'drop-ins' in secondary schools for young people offering Suffolk c-card condom scheme, chlamydia testing, pregnancy testing and emergency hormonal contraception provision
  • confidential 'drop-ins' in pupil referral units and special schools 
  • Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan support where involved
  • follow up (if required) for accident and emergency attendance and police domestic abuse referrals
  • support for you to feel confident in your parenting skills and to provide the best opportunities for your child as their grow 

We also support schools by delivering:

  • assemblies at key transition points
  • termly locality training for schools on management of asthma, epilepsy and anaphylaxis (in Lowestoft and Waveney this is provided by James Paget Hospital)
  • individual training in schools where required
  • identifying health needs within their school community, working with them to create a health and well-being action plan. (This is currently being piloted in two areas with the aspiration to increase participation to all schools)

The school nursing team consists of:

  • School Nurses: are Specialist Community Public Health Nurses who are highly qualified nurses with an additional degree in public health, which specifically relates to the health needs of the school aged population.
  • Community Staff Nurses: are Registered Nurses with a variety of experiences from different complimentary areas to school nursing.
  • Child Health Screening Practitioners: are experienced practitioners with specific training to work with children to deliver the National Child Measurement Programme and Hearing and vision screening.

Workshops

If you have concerns about your child’s behaviour and emotional well being and / or supporting them on their journey through puberty, these workshops will be helpful for you to watch. If you are still concerned about your child’s needs after you have watched the workshop/s and have tried the recommended strategies for 6 weeks please contact the School Nursing Alternative Provision team for more advice.  Telephone the team on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk  or contact us via our ChatHealth text service on 07507 333356.

Emotional Wellbeing and Behaviour workshop

Navigating Puberty and Adolescence

Continence Needs

School nursing teams provide initial support for children and young people’s continence needs. We offer a ‘Continence’ workshop for parents/carers whose children are toilet trained but where there are concerns such as constipation, day time wetting or nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting). The aim of the workshop is for parent /carers to have an understanding of continence problems in children and young people and how some simple measures can be used to address these.

If your child is not yet toilet trained this workshop will be helpful for you to watch. There is also information on the website links below about helping your child to develop their toileting skills.

If you are still concerned about your child’s continence needs after you have watched the workshop and have tried the simple measures for 6 weeks please contact either your child’s GP or the school nursing service for more advice.  Telephone the School Nursing Service on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk  or contact us via our ChatHealth text service on 07507 333356.

If your child is not yet toilet trained this workshop will be helpful for you to watch. 

SEND Supporting Continence Promotion in Children and Young People

School Nursing - Supporting Primary School Age Children in Suffolk

School Nursing - Physical, Mental and Sexual Health

School Nursing - Physical and Mental Health

School Nursing Chathealth text service

 

National Child Measurement Programme (short information video)

Support children starting Primary School

Please click on the link below for the Health for Under 5's website which includes a video that is designed to help parents and carers support children who are starting primary school:

Health for Under 5's - Starting Primary School

Support young people transitioning to Secondary School

Please click on the link below for the Health for Kids website which includes a video that is designed to help parents and carers support children who are transitioning to secondary school:

Health for Kids - Transitioning to Secondary School (Support for Parents / Carers)

Guidance for young people transitioning to Secondary School

If you are a young person, please click on the link below for the Health for Teens website which includes a video with advice for starting Secondary School:

Health for Teens - Transitioning to Secondary School (Support for young people)

Call our Health Business Centre on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk if you:

  • would like to change an appointment
  • need to speak to a member of the School Nursing service
  • would like information, advice and guidance

If you have contacted the Health Business Centre, we would welcome your feedback on the service that you received. Please click on the link below:

Feedback about the Health Business Centre

 

Referrals

If you would like to make a referral for support from the School Nursing team, please refer via our online referral portal. Please read the ‘Information for Referrers’ for details of the School Nursing Service offer before submitting a referral. This can be found when you click on the Complete Referral Form link below or in this Information for Referrers.

Complete the referral form

If you are unable to access or complete a referral via the online referral portal, please contact the Health Business Centre on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk

The service has introduced a new approach to supporting children and young people with SEND as the School Nursing Alternative Provision team (SNAP) has been integrated into the locality school nursing teams.

We are currently reviewing & developing our universal offer to those attending special schools and other specialist educational provisions and will be implementing changes over the coming months.
We will be recruiting additional Staff Nurses and Healthy Child Practitioners, who will have a specific role in supporting children and young people with SEND, to support these developments.
 
Continence
We will still be continuing to offer assessment and support with promoting children and young people’s continence skills in partnership with the enuresis service. This may include helping with coordination of continence product deliveries where these are offered. Please continue to contact the Health Business Centre with any questions about continence product provision or to request any changes and we will be in contact to discuss.

Young people in secondary school can assess a confidential drop-in service delivered by the school nursing team. Dates and times of drop ins should be on display at your school or available from your teacher. You can also text Chathealth on 07507 333356 to find out when your next drop in is running.

School drop ins provide a range of information, advice and guidance including

  • Sexual Health including C-Card condom scheme, Chlamydia testing, pregnancy testing and emergency hormonal contraception provision.
  • Emotional Health including low mood, worries, self-harm, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Physical Health- including puberty, healthy lifestyle , sleep and health conditions

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measure the height and weight of children in Reception class (aged 4 to 5) and Year 6 (aged 10 to 11). The height and wright are measured and used to calculate a Body Mass Index.   This data can be used nationally to support local public health initiatives and locally to inform planning and delivery of services for children. 

In Suffolk the NCMP is carried out by the school nursing team. Before the programme starts each year, we will write to parents and carers of all children eligible for measurement to inform them of the programme.  Parents and carers can choose to withdraw their child from the process by responding to the letter.

For more information visit the NHS NCMP webpage.

If you are concerned that your child might be underweight or overweight you can talk to your GP, Health Visitor or School Nurse who can offer advice and support.

Below are links to other sites you may find helpful:

Hearing and vision

Routine hearing and vision tests are offered to children to identify and problems early on in the development. Although serious problems during childhood are rare, early testing ensures that any problems are picked up and managed as early as possible. Children may not realise they have a hearing or vision problem so, without routine tests there is a risk a problem may not be spotted which could affect their development and education.

In Suffolk the Hearing and Vision screening tests are carried out on children in Reception class (aged 4 to 5) by the school nursing team. Before the programme starts each year, we will write to parents and carers of all children eligible for screening to inform them of the programme. Parents and carers can choose to withdraw their child from the process by responding to the letter.

If you are concerned about your child's hearing or vision, you can talk to your GP, Health Visitor or School Nurse who can offer advice and support.

Remember free NHS sight tests are also available at opticians for children under 16 and for young people under 19 in full-time education. You can go to an optician if you have any concerns about your child's vision at any stage.

Please watch this short information video for an overview of NCMP in Suffolk:

For more information please visit:

ChatHealth is an easy way for young people (aged 11-19 years) to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment with a school nurse, by sending a text message.  

This service is provided by Suffolk County Council's School Nursing Service covering all of Suffolk including Lowestoft and Waveney and aims to provide timely and convenient access to confidential health advice for students, including issues about

  • Sexual health
  • Emotional health and wellbeing
  • Bullying
  • Healthy eating
  • Smoking, drugs and alcohol
  • Self harm
  • General health concerns

School Nursing Chathealth text service

Parents

If you are a parent or carer of a young person, you can use ChatHealth to seek help, advice or support about a range of issues which maybe affecting you or your child.

Text a School Nurse on 07507 333356

Texts are charged at your standard network rate. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, excluding bank holidays.

Young people

If you are aged between 11 and 19, you can confidentially text ChatHealth to ask for help about a range of issues or make an appointment with a school nurse. You can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support or sexual health services.

Text a School Nurse on 07507 333356

Texts are charged at your standard network rate. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, excluding bank holidays.

Out of hours

Anyone who texts the service out-of-hours receives an automatic reply message that explains where to get help, and when they can expect a response.  Texts are normally replied to within one working day. 

Good sexual health is important. Find out about safer sex, sexually transmitted infections and how to manage risks:

Condoms are available free to young people between the ages of 13 to 24 through the C-Card scheme in Suffolk.

Had unprotected sex? Find out more about emergency contraception below

COVID 19

If you need access to emergency contraception you can contact your GP or iCaSH Suffolk.  If you are unsure or need advice, contact the school nursing team via ChatHealth. They will be able to assess your needs and get you the help you need.  

Text a School Nurse on 07507 333356

Texts are free of charge. The service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, excluding bank holidays.

Bullying

If you are being bullied, don't keep it to yourself. Tell an adult you trust today.

If you need help or advice about bullying, here are helplines and websites that can provide you with information and support:

Confidence and Self Esteem

Confidence and self-esteem can play an important part in your happiness and how you feel about yourself. We all have times when we lack confidence and don’t feel good about ourselves. But when low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it can have a harmful effect on our lives.

The good news is there are loads of ways you can start to improve your confidence. 

Find out more by visiting:

Divorce and Separation

Divorce, separation and other family changes can mean losing the home, school and friends you are used to, as well as seeing less of one or more family members.

Remember, it's not your fault and it doesn't affect how much your family loves you. It's OK to miss a parent who has left, and to ask for support from someone you trust. 

Below are a list of helplines and websites offering help and support:

Keeping Safe Online

Find advice about staying safe when you are on a phone, tablet or computer:

Feeling Overwhelmed or Suicidal

Many people struggle to cope at one point or another of their lives. Experiencing a range of emotions during these times is common. We all experience not being OK differently. Take the first step and talk to someone you trust.

Where to get help for urgent mental health support including details of 24 hour helplines.

These helplines, websites and apps can provide you with further information and support:

Relationships

 Relationships can be confusing and it’s important we that can recognise when relationships are not healthy.

Find out more about relationships and how to stay safe:

Self Harm

People can self-harm for many different reasons, including bullying, difficulties at school, problems at home, being a victim of abuse, low self-esteem or other emotional difficulties.

Self-harm is a way of coping with emotional distress. However, it is only a temporary relief, and it won't stop the negative emotions from coming back. If you're using self-harm as a way to deal with your feelings, it's important that you talk to someone and seek help.

Take the first step and talk to someone you trust. You can go to your GP for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your doctor.

If you're 16 or over, you can also refer yourself for free support from the Suffolk Wellbeing Service. This could be in the form of short-term counselling or a telephone call from a professional, or wellbeing workshops or classes. For more information, visit the Suffolk Wellbeing Service website.

Find helplines and websites that can provide you with information and support:

See also sections - Emotional Wellbeing Hub and Feeling overwhelmed and suicidal

Stress

Everyone has experienced stress at some point in their lives, whether in the run up to exams, before a driving test, or around a big change in your life. Stress can either be caused by our thoughts and anxieties, or by events and experiences. 

People are affected by stress in different ways. A little bit of stress can be a good thing as it triggers the 'fight or flight' response which can help you to deal with certain pressures. But when the stress builds up and hangs around, we need to learn how to relax and de-stress.

Find out how to recognise and manage stress:

See also Feeling overwhelmed and suicidal.

Something's Not Right

Feeling like something's not right?

Things have been very different this year. And it’s been difficult for everyone.

You might be worried about:

  • things that have happened to you or someone else
  • not knowing where to go when you’re scared
  • being at school, your exams or the future
  • coping with your mental health.

Whatever’s happening, you don’t have to cope alone.

For help and advice visit Childline Somethings not right

If you are worried about being at school this webpage may be helpful:  EBSA - Emotionally Based School Avoidance

Understanding your Brain

Solihull Understanding your Brain 

Understanding your Brain is an online course for teenagers only: support and advice to help you understand how your brain is changing as you get older.  

This free online course will help you to answer some questions you may have, including the following:

  • Have you noticed changes in your behaviour?
  • Do you sleep more than you used to?
  • Do you want to know why teenagers are more open minded?

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access to that course and resumes where you left off.

Understanding your Feelings

Solihull Understanding your Feelings

This course was created because of the rise in mental health problems in young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It introduces teenagers to the issue of mental health, recognising and processing feelings in the context of relationships. It presents our view of why the COVID-19 pandemic has had such an impact on emotional health. The course suggests how you can deal with this. 

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access to that course and resumes where you left off.

When someone dies

When someone dies, some of the words you will hear to describe what happened are bereavement, grief and mourning.

Grief describes the feelings you may be having after the death of someone close to you, whether it is a member of your family, a friend or a pet.

Losing someone or something you care deeply for is one of the hardest things we have to face in our lives. It can be a confusing time and you may feel overwhelmed with all sorts of difficult emotions. It is important to know that everyone experiences and expresses their feelings to grief in different ways and there is no right or wrong way to do this. You could feel great sadness, relief, disbelief or you could feel frightened or numb.

You are not alone. Here are some websites that offer advice and guidance:

Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point. It causes spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that is hot or painful to touch. Acne is very common in teenagers and younger adults. About 80% of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne.

Acne is most common in girls from the ages of 14 to 17, and in boys from the ages of 16 to 19.

Find acne support, including treatments and self-help techniques:

Asthma

A new asthma inhaler app has been launched called MySpira. It is the world's first reality asthma training game, developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals.

Suitable for children aged 6 to 13, the MySpira app aims to improve the training of correct inhaler technique, using a combination of augmented reality and game play. 

For more information, please visit Healthy Suffolk.

You can find more asthma support at:

Continence Needs

School nursing teams provide initial support for children and young people’s continence needs. We offer a ‘Continence’ workshop for parents/carers whose children are toilet trained but where there are concerns such as constipation, day time wetting or nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting). The aim of the workshop is for parent /carers to have an understanding of continence problems in children and young people and how some simple measures can be used to address these.

If your child is not yet toilet trained this workshop will be helpful for you to watch. There is also information on the website links below about helping your child to develop their toileting skills.

If you are still concerned about your child’s continence needs after you have watched the workshop and have tried the simple measures for 6 weeks please contact either your child’s GP or the school nursing service for more advice.  Telephone the School Nursing Service on 0345 607 8866 or email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk  or contact us via our ChatHealth text service on 07507 333356.

Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting) service.

Children and young people aged 5 to 19 years may be referred to the Nocturnal Enuresis (bedwetting) service by your child’s GP, School Nursing service or Paediatrician.

Bedwetting (also known as 'nocturnal enuresis') affects around half a million children and teenagers in the UK. It's an issue families can find very isolating and difficult to talk about openly. Growing up with bedwetting can take a huge toll on family life and can affect your child's self-esteem and emotional well-being. 

The good news is you don't need to wait until children grow out of bedwetting - support is now available and recommended from the age of 5 years.

Find out more about the Enuresis Service

If your child is age 4 to 18 years and already receives products for their continence needs & you would like to talk to us about these please contact the School Nursing Service on 0345 607 8866, email childrenshealth@suffolk.gov.uk .

If your child is over 18 years please contact the Bladder & Bowel Service via the Care Coordination Centre on 0300 123 2425.

Other useful websites include:

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol misuse

Alcoholic drinks, when consumed sensibly and in moderation, can be enjoyable, but if you drink excessively you can put your health at risk. Unfortunately, there are too many young people who make this mistake every year. Being clear on the law around alcohol is important - for both parents and children. The law isn’t simply about knowing right from wrong. It’s a reminder of the potential consequence of drinking alcohol underage. 

To find out more information about the law and alcohol misuse, please visit:

Drug and substance misuse

Taking drugs is dangerous and could affect your mental health. There are many myths and stereotypes surrounding drugs, so it is important that you get the right information.

If you or a family member or friend need advice about substance misuse (including drugs and alcohol), or would like to find out how to access support and treatment, get in touch with Turning Point in Suffolk.

Other helpful sites include:

Immunisations

As a child or young person you may not like being given an injection or as a parent you may not like seeing your child being given an injection. However, vaccination will help protect you against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases.

Vaccines do

  • get safety tested for years before being introduced – they're also monitored for any side effects
  • protect you from many serious and potentially deadly diseases
  • reduce or even get rid of some diseases – if enough people are vaccinated

You can find information on the childhood immunisation schedule, including the ages at which they should ideally be given, reasons for vaccinating, and managing side effects on the NHS page about vaccinations.

If you're not sure whether you or your child has had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP surgery to find out for you.

Covid-19 Vaccine Information

NHS England have produced videos in several languages with clear information about the COVID-19 vaccine:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Useful websites with information about vaccinations:

Smoking

Is it worth stopping smoking? Yes. Apart from saving a lot of money you will feel better and healthier, enjoy food and have more energy for exercise.

After stopping smoking you'll quickly notice you're breathing easier, have more energy, and your stress levels will be lower. Among other things, quitting also helps save the planet. Deforestation because of tobacco production accounts for nearly 5% of overall deforestation in the developing world!

You can get help to quit from your school nurse, as well as:

There are organisations that can help and support you if you are experiencing or witnessing Domestic Abuse (also called Domestic Violence).

Refuge

Young Minds

The Hideout  - Information for children

The Hideout - Information for young people

The Children's Society - Advice for young people

The Children's Society - Abusive Teenage Relationships

Childline - 0800 1111

Solihull Understanding your Child

It's great that you are reading this! 99 out of 100 parents who do this course find it helpful. How amazing is that? So start your journey now!

Want to know a bit more about the course? Read on! 'Understanding your child' is a FREE online course for all parents, grandparents and carers of children aged 0-18 years. This course is a journey through knowledge. It builds up a way of looking at things that will be helpful for most situations.

This course has content you can trust. It has been written by Clinical Psychologists, Child Psychotherapists and other health professionals in the Solihull Approach team. It has also been awarded the UK Government's CANparent Quality Mark.

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access and resumes where you left off.

Solihull Understanding your child with additional needs

This online course is for parents with a child with additional needs. It is for parents, relatives and friends of children who may have a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits. In the UK, you may be within the SEND (Special educational needs and disability) system.

This course is in 2 sections. Level 1 lays the foundation for understanding your child. Level 2 looks at some particular aspects of parenting: sleeping and anger management, together with more about how we interact with each other. Understanding this can make it easier to work with your child's behaviour as well as supporting their development. Once you finish Level 1 you can progress to Level 2 if you would like to. You can print off a certificate at the end of the course as well as one at the end of Level 1.

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access to that course and resumes where you left off.

Solihull - Free online course for parents / carers: Understanding your child's mental health and wellbeing

It’s been an anxious year for many adults, children and young people alike. We know many of you are worried about the impact of the pandemic on your children. This course offers advice and guidance on how to address any concerns you may have about your child's mental health and wellbeing. 

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access to that course and resumes where you left off.

 Please also see the Understanding Your Brain section for details of a Solihull course for teenagers which explores how your brain changes as you go through adolescence and provides advice and support. 

Solihull  - Understanding your Brain (for teenagers only) 

Understanding your Brain is an online course for teenagers only: support and advice to help you understand how your brain is changing as you get older.  

This free online course will help you to answer some questions you may have, including the following:

  • Have you noticed changes in your behaviour?
  • Do you sleep more than you used to?
  • Do you want to know why teenagers are more open minded?

Visit www.inourplace.co.uk and follow instructions to set up an account.  Once you have created an account enter the access code: WOLSEY.  Your account will remember your access to that course and resumes where you left off.

Unicef - What's On Your Mind?

Visit this website to find out how parents can start the mental health conversation with their kids: Unicef: What's on your mind? 

This May Help - Advice for Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

The This May Help website is aimed at parents and carers who have concerns about their child's mental health. The website provides easy to follow advice to help manage your child's mental health. 

The Young Parent’s Pathway is a home visiting voluntary service within the 0-19 Health Visiting service that supports mothers to be under the age of 20 years old, who live in Suffolk. Please click on this link to find out more information about the Young Parent's Pathway.

The Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides information, advice, and guidance if you are worried about the emotional wellbeing and mental health of a child or young person aged 0-25 years or if you are a young person who needs emotional wellbeing support.

The Emotional Wellbeing Hub is a multi-agency team offering a central point of contact for families, professionals, and young people to access mental health services or to discuss concerns about the emotional wellbeing of a child or young person in East or West Suffolk. Find out more information by visiting the Suffolk Emotional Wellbeing Hub page on InfoLink.

If you have contacted our Health Business Centre we would welcome your feedback on the service you received. Please click on the link below:

feedback about the Health Business Centre

Please click on the link below for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for details on how to provide feedback on the service you have received from our School Nursing Team. Your feedback may inform when, where and what areas of the service are inspected:

Care Quality Commission

If you would like to make a complaint about the service you have received from Suffolk County Council please click on the link below:

Making a complaint

Service rated as 'good' by Care Quality Care Commission

On 6 July 2021 the Care Quality Commission rated our service as 'good'. Click here for the report and overview of the inspection

regulatedbyCQC inspectedandratedgoodCQC