School Nursing

Torquay School Nurse Team
Union House
4th Floor
Union Street
Torquay TQ1 3YA

Tel: 01803 219822 / 219814
Email: Torquay School Nurse Team

Paignton School Nurse Team
Kings Ash House
Kings Ash Road
Paignton TQ3 3XZ

Tel: 01803 696752
Email: Paignton School Nurse Team

Brixham School Nurse Team Greenswood Road
Brixham TQ5 9HW

Tel: 01803 696752
Email: Brixham School Nurse Team

What is a School Nurse and what do they do?

The team is comprised of specialist practitioners, qualified registered nurses, nursery nurses and administrators.

The School Nurse team provide a number of services to 5-19 year olds, for example:

  • health screening for all reception children
  • carry out the immunisation programme for 5-19 year olds
  • offer height and weight measurements as per the national child measurement programme
  • hold drop in sessions for young people / parents / carers

How can the School Nurse team help me?

Torbay’s School Nurse team has two main key responsibilities:

  1. To assess, promote and protect the health and well-being of children and young people.
  2. To offer confidential advice, care and support on an individual or groups basis to children and young people, parents, carers and educational staff on a range of topics.

In addition to help and advice from the School Nurse team here are a few links that we would recommend looking at for general advice regarding child health and development:

What to do if you think a child or young person is at risk of harm

If you are worried that a child or young person is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect please call 01803 208100. This is a 24 hour service staffed by a team of professional people with a legal duty to safeguard children. They will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions.

What to do if you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence and abuse

Domestic Violence and Abuse is violent and abusive behaviour between partners, ex-partners, family members or are perpetrators known to the victim. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, social (enforced isolation), forced marriage and honour based violence. 1:3 women and 1: 6 men are victims of this abuse.

If you are worried that you or a friend are suffering or are at risk of domestic violence or abuse including Female Genital Mutilation, there is help available please discuss with your Health Visitor or School Nurse or go to the website www.areyouok.co.uk. Both of which can help and support you including signpost you to many support agencies. There is also a 24 hour service staffed by a team of professionals please call Torbay Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) 01803 207262 or email tdas@santuary-housing.co.uk who will listen to your concerns and take appropriate actions.

Further information

Click on the headings below for more information about each topic.

Most accidents happen in the home which is why it is important to ensure that your home is a safe place for all your family, especially for young children.

Your School Nurse team may contact you following your child’s attendance at A&E to offer any ongoing support if needed.

We want our children to be happy, confident and feel able to deal with life’s challenges. While we understand that feeling stressed or sad is a normal reaction to events, it is recognised that more and more children and young people are struggling to cope with their thoughts and feelings. School Nurses can offer extra support to both young people and their carers’ and have a good knowledge of local services and other resources which can support families. Parents or young people can talk in confidence with the School Nurse team however if you need urgent advice then please contact your doctor or in an emergency dial 999.

For further advice and resources about mental health and young people, please see our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) pages.

Daytime wetting affects 1 in 75 children aged 5 and above. It is usual for younger children to have wetting accidents as part of the toilet training process but as children get older, daytime wetting can be more difficult to manage at school or in social situations. It is important to get a professional assessment to identify why the daytime wetting is happening and to seek support to resolve or manage it.

Bedwetting is a common childhood condition affecting an estimated 500,000 children and young people in the UK. Up to the age of five, wetting the bed is normal. It usually stops happening as your child gets older without the need for any treatment.

It may be helpful to get advice about your child’s bedwetting from your School Nurse if your child goes to nursery or has started school.

The ERIC website is an excellent national resource for further information, advice and support around this topic.

A well balanced diet is essential for children in their early years and starts with establishing good eating patterns necessary to ensure they grow and develop appropriately.

It is vital that when children start school they are at a healthy body weight consuming a balanced diet including a variety of minimally processed foods. Fruit and vegetables form an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet, which is why it’s so important to make sure we’re getting enough of them.

Helping parents to make informed choices is part of the School Nurse role with the key message of ensuring all children can achieve positive outcomes. Your School Nurse team delivers diet and nutritional information and advice to families as part of the universal healthy child programme. They can offer you advice around healthy eating habits and how to boost your child’s relationship with food as well as helping to deal with the challenges that may arise. They are available to provide support in order for you to give the best opportunity for your child to growth into a healthy and confident adult.

NHS Choices has some sound information regarding healthy eating and how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Have a look at ‘Healthier lunchboxes‘ page on NHS Choices for inspiration for healthy lunchboxes and snacks.

Being healthy is a big part of being happy. Your lifestyle has a big effect on how you feel and what you get out of life, both now and in the future. So it’s a good idea to find out more about how to live healthily.

For information about healthy lifestyles and the local resources available to you and your family, please ask your School Nurse or take a look at:

The following links are good gender specific resources for information about general life as a teenager and concerns that you or your child may have:

Smoking: The younger you start smoking, the more damage your body will suffer when you get older. For help on stopping smoking, ask your School Nurse for a referral to the lifestyles team for their support, and take a look at the following resources for advice:

Your School Nurse will deliver your child’s immunisations in a school based programme.

Information on the childhood immunization schedule including the ages at which they should ideally be given, reasons for vaccinating and managing side effects can be found on NHS Choices – When to have vaccinations.

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

It can be difficult to tell when your child is seriously ill, but the main thing is to trust your instincts. You know better than anyone else what your child is usually like, so you’ll know when something is seriously wrong.

The following may help guide you with knowing more about childhood illnesses:

The National Child Measurement Programme, is carried out by your School Nurse team, in reception and repeated in year 6. The information is used by the NHS to plan and provide better health services for children. Your local School Nurse team will send your child’s results to you.

If you have a child in Reception (ages four and five) or Year Six (ages 10 and 11), you will receive a letter with more information from your School Nurse team before your child is measured.

For further information visit NHS Choices – The National Child Measurement Programme.

Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is, it has amazing rewards but it can also be very challenging. If you want some support with any of the varying aspects of parenting, please contact your School Nursing team who work with Children Centres and other Early Years settings to offer guidance on how to manage your child’s behaviour and how to build a closer relationship.

There are very few perfectly behaved teenagers and many of them take part in some kind of dangerous, unhealthy or anti-social pursuit.

In general, most young people, especially those under 16, trust their parents and will respond to any information and support you offer.

Please contact your School Nurse if you have any concerns or feel that you need some advice and support. Alternatively, the following websites are excellent resources for advice around risk taking behaviours:

The first day at school can be challenging for both children and parents, but with a little preparation it’ll be easier for you to cope.

Some of the key skills to help your child develop before they start school are: Going to the toilet, washing their hands, dressing / undressing, using a tissue, tidying up, feeding themselves and knowing how to share. Your School Nursing team can help you with techniques to encourage these skills and behaviours.

For more information in supporting ‘school readiness’ speak to your child’s current Early Years setting or school.

Visit your local Children’s Centre or call 01803 207895.

When your child starts secondary school, it’s a big change for them and for you as their parent. They’re used to being the oldest in their school – soon they’ll be the youngest. Moving school can be daunting; but exciting too, so give your child lots of support so it’s easier for them.

The School Nurse holds drop in sessions at each secondary school and is available for your child to see if he / she has any concerns. For days and times of these sessions please ask at each individual school.

Your School Nurse is available for advice and support on this subject, either by phone or at the school drop in clinics.

The following websites contain lots of excellent information around Sex and Young people and is a really good resource for both parents and teenagers to read to help inform and answer any questions.

If you think you are concerned about an STI, including HIV, or are at risk of having one, you can get tested at a sexual health clinic or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic.

A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

A Health Visitor may refer pre-school children with special educational needs to the Community Paediatrician. A school nurse may support specialist health practitioners and education providers in supporting children with any additional health needs.

Children who have a learning difficulty find it harder to learn than the majority of children the same age, or they may have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the education provided for other children.

A learning difficulty might cause difficulties with:

  • Some or all of your child’s work
  • Reading, writing or number work
  • Your child’s ability to express themselves or understand information
  • Making friends or relating to adults
  • Behaviour in school
  • Personal organisation
  • Tasks or activities which depend on sensory or physical skills

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
For further information, support and guidance for parents and carers, visit www.torbay.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/send/

Early Help
Find out about the local Early Help services which are available to children in families, visit www.torbay.gov.uk/children-and-families/services-and-support/early-help/

Children’s Learning Disability Health Team
The Children’s Learning Disability Health Team work in close collaboration with families and carers to encourage development, manage behaviour issues and promote good emotional and physical health for children and young people, with learning disabilities, aged 0-18 year’s. For more information, see Children’s Learning Disability Health Team

Being aware of your child’s sugar intake is essential to help prevent tooth decay. It’s not just about the amount of sugar in sweet food and drinks, but how long and how often the teeth are in contact with sugar.

NHS dental care for children is free so it is important to regularly attend the dentist from an early age. If you need any further help or advice about dental care, please contact your School Nurse team.

For further advice on symptom management, contact your School Nurse or look at NHS Choices – Children’s teeth.

To find a dentist locally, please go visit the NHS Choices website or contact NHS England on 0300 311223.

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