Hampshire County Council recognises the benefits of supporting children and young people’s mental and physical well being and is planning to increase funding for school nursing services.
Up to a maximum of £2.5 million additional funding over five years will be used specifically to support the physical and emotional resilience of children and young people in Hampshire.
In April 2013, responsibility for the public health of 5-19 year olds transferred to local authorities. School nurses provide a range of specialist public health support and advice including the delivery of the national child measurement programme. The new service will also provide additional support for young people’s health and wellbeing up to the age of 19 years.
Commenting on her decision to increase the funding: Cllr Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said, “Providing a focused service to support vulnerable older children, as well as extending growth, development and wellbeing checks for children in Year 6, is vital in helping to avoid more costly and intrusive interventions later on. All the evidence supports early action, listening to children and young people at the earliest opportunity – healthy children will become our future healthy adult workforce.”
“One of our key aims is also to ensure that it’s not only teachers who know how to contact the service, but that children and young people, as well as parents, are able to get in touch with the school nursing service direct. Being more visible in schools and ensuring children and young people know how to contact a nurse will ensure that those who need extra support are put in touch with expert help as quickly as possible, thereby helping to avoid problems going untreated and causing greater difficulties in later life.”
This additional funding agreed by Cllr Fairhurst will increase the value of the five year school nursing contract from £17.6 million to £20.1 million. The new contract will be in place from 1 April 2015.