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New messaging service for young people to access school nurses

Posted on the 28th March 2016

Children and young people can now conveniently and confidentially contact their school nurse electronically via Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust"s School Nurse Messaging Service.

The new service came into effect on 29 February to cater for children and young people who increasingly use handheld mobile devices. The new messaging service also gives them the opportunity to contact a nurse by SMS text message and can be used outside school hours.

Lorraine Chadwick, Service Integration Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said, "There are some health issues that young people find embarrassing to talk to nurses face-to-face about. The School Nurse Messaging Service deals with this problem in a convenient, confidential and non-invasive way. It"s a contemporary solution that is resulting in more and more young people contacting school nurses with their concerns".

She added, "The School Nurse Messaging Service is a tried-and-tested initiative that has been positively welcomed in other parts of the country. Implementing the system is hassle-free and it"s convenient for students to have access to healthcare with many using the service outside school hours. Students who want to see their NHS school nurses face-to-face will still be able to do so".

The service has been widely tested to ensure its safety. ChatHealth staff liaised with school staff, parents, governors, clinical leads, school nurses, safeguarding colleagues, the Police, the NSPCC, the Royal College of Nursing and some sexual health message-based helplines in introducing the system. A free ChatHealth smartphone app is also under development.