SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICE
A team of specialist Health Service and Communities and Families Department staff work together to provide a service throughout your child’s years at primary and secondary school. A planned programme is put into place to make sure that they benefit as much as possible from all that school has to offer, and to help prepare for life after leaving school. The School Health Service is part of the Community Child Health Service and has direct links with those who carry out health checks on children before they start school.
Many different services are provided. The staff involved make every effort to work closely with parents/carers and with others who are caring for your child, both at school and in other branches of the Health Service. Some of the services, e.g. testing for vision, hearing or speech, are provided to all children on a routine basis to discover which children may need further tests.
Parents/carers are not necessarily notified at the time of these screening tests and any parent who does not want a child to be included should notify the school at the beginning of the session. Naturally, if treatment is thought to be required the child’s parents/carers will be informed and consent requested. The issue of maintaining confidentiality is taken seriously by the School Health Team at all times.
Some of the staff concerned and the parts they play are as follows:-
School nurses are involved with health promotion and education, prevention of ill health, immunisation, health surveillance and screening. The school nurse may be helped by a health assistant. They act as an important link between home and school. They visit the school and liaise with teachers to find out whether any pupil has a health need that requires to be addressed. The school nurse can link with other members of the health team, in the community or in hospital concerned with a child’s health.
The school doctor is made aware of any possible problems and parents/carers and the family doctor is informed if any further action is considered necessary. The school doctor may ask for your consent to examine your child if his/her medical records are incomplete or if the doctor particularly wishes to check on his/her progress. You will be invited to be present at any medical examination and kept informed if the school doctor wishes to see your child again, or thinks that he/she should be seen by the family doctor or a specialist in paediatrics. You can, if you wish, arrange for your family doctor to undertake the examinations instead of the school doctor, but you may be charged a fee for this. In secondary schools the school doctor may consider whether any special information should be provided for the Careers Service. The school doctor or nurse will be pleased to see you and your child at a mutually convenient time if you are concerned about his/her health or general progress at school.
With your consent, the School Health Service staff also carry out immunisations to protect against various diseases.
The audiometric team normally checks children’s hearing on a number of occasions before the age of 13/14 years. The School Health Team will be told if your child seems to have a hearing problem and they will inform parents/carers and GPs as necessary.
The speech and language therapist can provide assessment and, if necessary, treatment if you, a teacher or the school doctor feels that your child may have a speech or language problem.
Any enquiries concerning the provision of dental services should be made to:
The Director of the Community Dental Service,
16 Duncan Street
Tel: 0131 667 7114
The aim is that the School Health Service can, together with parents/ carers, contribute to your child’s overall well-being and development. Should you require further information, please contact the school.
Some pupils have occasional health care needs that require the administration of medication in school. If a child requires medication during the school day parents should hand this in to the school office and complete the appropriate consent form detailing dosage, timings and any other specific requirements.
School staff are unable to administer medication without completion of the necessary forms.
Long-term medication requires the completion of a School Health Care Plan. This is for all pupils who may need emergency medication or who have a complex, chronic condition that requires more in depth planning and support. The Plan is discussed and finalised with relevant health care staff and the school’s management team. Necessary medication is kept in the school office and classroom administered by staff when needed
Head lice are spread through head to head contact at home, while playing or in school. The only way to be sure that your child has head lice is to find a live louse. If you find live lice, get the correct lotion from your doctor, health visitor or pharmacist. Shampoos and other treatments are not effective. One treatment is two applications of the treatment lotion, seven days apart. If this is not followed, then re-infection is likely.
Advise family members and close friends that your child has head lice and that they should check their own hair. Only treat if live lice are found. Don’t be shy about advising others of this possible problem because you would likely tell family and friends about other infections which might affect them.
Regular wet combing of your child’s hair with the head lice detector comb is the best protection as it allows you to detect the condition and treat it speedily.