NewsEngland: time to reverse the reduction in school nurse workforce

England: time to reverse the reduction in school nurse workforce

A report from The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), the College of Medicine, and the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA) has called for action to address the decline in the number of school nurses.

There has been a 33% fall in the number of school nurses since 2009 across England, though there is much more variations across areas, the report highlights. In some local authority areas, school nursing is no longer commissioned at all, the report states.

Local authorities, which have commissioned school nursing since 2012 do not have the resources to deliver on the Healthy Child Programme, the report explains. It means that school nurses are being limited to focusing on safeguarding for the most vulnerable.

The report, A School Nurse in Every School, is based on a round table with the QNI, the College of medicine and SAPHNA. It calls for a range of actions to address the issues highlighted. This includes building national political will and encouraging Integrated Care Boards to prioritise school nursing within healthcare strategies for children and young people.

‘It is remarkable that we are talking about building political will to improve the health of children in this country,’ expressed QNI chief executive Dr Crystal Oldman.

Unite-CPHVA welcomes the report which is ‘long overdue’. Unite (health) lead professional officer Ethel Rodrigues continues: ‘The crises of not investing in school nursing services and the workforce cannot be overstated as evidenced in the report. If the government is serious about improving children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, they must act now and invest before the service grinds to a halt and becomes irreparable.’

Image | Unsplash


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