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Public Health Communications
On this section of The Grid you will find communication material from health organisations in Hertfordshire and also the latest news and information for schools and School Nurses.
1. Information for schools and school nurses
2. Public health announcements
1. Information for Schools and School Nurses
I would like to remind all nursery schools that children of nursery age are not entitled to free school meals.
If you do happen to receive an application for free school meals you will have to notify the parents that they cannot claim for their nursery child until reception class onwards.
We have had several applications go through for nursery age children, also where nursery age children have been included on their siblings applications that are eligible for free school meals. The system at present will accept the age range for nursery children. We are in the process of getting this resolved by putting in place a restriction on the date of birth range for applications. Why we are waiting for this to be put in place we would be grateful for your assistance by relaying the message to all parents/carers.
f you have any questions or concerns please call Phaline Devine on 01991 588540
In 2018, Hertfordshire County Council will be re-commissioning the services currently delivered by school nursing, health visiting and children’s centres. As part of this process a new survey has been launched to gain feedback on the services delivered by school nursing, which will be used to inform future commissioning decisions. Please encourage your school staff, young people and parents/carers to have their say through completing the survey.
The feedback on the school nursing service re-design which was gathered in 2013/14 will also be used to inform the commissioning decisions, however the launch of this survey offers a more current perspective.
The Public Health Conference will take place on 22 February 2017 from 9am in Robertson House, Stevenage.
The theme is ‘Evidence into Practice - Improving Population Health’
The keynote speakers are:
For more information, and to register please:
Health for Kids is a fantastic new website which provides a wealth of health information for children between the ages of 4 and 11. There are exciting activities for parents/carers/teachers to enjoy with children, advice to support their development and much more.
Health for Teens is aimed at young people between the ages of 11 and 19 and includes signposting to health and support services within Hertfordshire. Three website launch events are taking place in mid February and all secondary schools have been invited to participate.
On Monday 16 January a dedicated Hertfordshire page under the Health for Kids and Health for Teens website will launch. Not only will it provide local health updates, events and information, but it will contain the contact details of all School Nursing Teams across the county and signpost to relevant services.
Please take a look at the websites - the School Nursing Service will be in touch to help to promote in your school.
For further information contact Lynda Edwards, Clinical Lead for School Nursing on 07880 782363
A letter for Heads of Primary Schools regarding child flu immunisation within Primary Schools.
As you may be aware, the County Council’s contracts for the Health Visiting service, the School Nursing service and Children’s Centres expire in 2018. Officers from Children’s Services and Public Health, as well as key partners from the current providers, have been working together to explore opportunities for the services to be better aligned and to work more closely together, to inform future commissioning intentions. To support this, a number of work streams have been established to look at the different ways that this can happen and how the services can work together to support our families to thrive.
In order that we can undertake a thorough and informed procurement process, the Council would like the current service arrangements with children’s centres to continue until 30th June 2018 (previously 31st March 2018). HCT contracts with health visitors and school nurses will align with this date. A brief timeline of the procurement activity can be seen below.
Feedback from stakeholders, partners and families will be invaluable in helping shape future commissioning intentions and opportunities to support this will be provided throughout the process. Additionally we will provide monthly briefing notes, via bulletins and other communication channels, to ensure you are kept informed throughout.
A quick guide for parents for schools and settings to display with what to do if their child is unwell.
HCT Children’s Universal School Nursing service has developed the following health care plans for use by Hertfordshire schools:
Allergy and Anaphylaxis
Sickle Cell Disease
These health care plans were designed to support schools in the implementation of the Department of Education (2014) Guidance on Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions which has clarified the key responsibility for schools in managing medical conditions in school settings. The plans are designed to be used by school staff in partnership with parents and pupils. If you are unsure how to use these plans or have a child with a complex medical condition requiring health intervention, please contact your Named School Nurse or the School Nurse team Leader for your area – details available on the Grid. If you have a pupil with a medical condition not covered by these plans, including diabetes, please contact your school nurse for advice.
The Change4Life School Zone is a website containing curriculum-linked resources and inspiration to help you teach children about healthy eating and being active. As the site develops it will also provide support on food preparation and cooking, where food comes from, plus great ideas for PE lessons.
Change4Life is Public Health England’s response to the relentless rise in obesity. Its consumer campaigns encourage families with children aged 5-11 to eat well, move more and live longer.
Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK. NHS Choices, in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency, has put together this useful guide and print-out to help schools and parents understand Norovirus, from detection to prevention.
Norovirus Schools Guide
The Department for Education and the Department of Health have a shared programme of work to improve children’s health and wellbeing.
Promoting healthy weight in children is an important part of this programme. As part of this programme, the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) requires all children in Reception and Year 6 to be weighed and measured.
The School Nursing Service at Herts Community NHS Trust are responsible for submitting the measurements electronically to a central database, adhering to the Data Protection Act.
This programme does not include Special Schools.
Schools are requested to use the template below when providing their pupil lists for the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) to their school nurse.
SITSS have prepared a report that will extract the required information from SIMS into the new version of the template. To download this report go to:
A short briefing paper on plans for redesigning Hertfordshire’s school nursing service is available for feedback.
As Head teachers will be aware, last year saw the introduction of the Childhood Influenza (Flu) immunisation Programme for all children in school years 1 and 2. With help and support from schools Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) School Nursing service was able to vaccinate over 62% of Year 1 and 60% of Year 2 children in Hertfordshire.
Following the success of last year’s programme NHS England has expanded the programme this year to also include Year 3 children. Annual immunisation provides important protection to individual children and also reduces the spread of flu to families and the wider community, protecting younger siblings, grandparents and others who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from flu.
HCT School Nursing Service will be contacting schools this term to arrange a date for these immunisation sessions to be delivered in the autumn term and appreciate your support in facilitating delivery of this programme. For more information for head teachers and other school staff click on the link below:
The MindEd programme is funded by the Department of Health. It has been developed and written by experts in child mental health.
This free web resource encourages all professionals interacting with children and young people to become more skilled in dealing with children and young people’s mental health.
One of the innovative and exciting elements of this resource is the ability to plan and follow a CPD pathway for your specific role or profession.
For more information, please contact Shelley Taylor at email@example.com
Please have a look at the resource at :
This briefing for head teachers, governors and staff in education settings provides a broad, succinct scope of the scientific evidence highlighting the link between health and wellbeing and educational attainment. It underlines the value for schools of promoting health and wellbeing as an integral part of a school effectiveness strategy, and highlights the important contribution of a whole-school approach.
Parents, teachers, GPs and other healthcare staff can now refer a child to our school nursing service online.
Please find below a list of school nurse team leaders with contact details. Should you wish to contact your school nurse you can do this via the school nurse team leaders.
School Nurse Contact Details
You may be aware that the School Nurses and Speech & Language Therapists that visit your school use mobile devices such as Tough books (type of laptop) in order to record their work with children at your school. These Tough books give the health professional access to the child’s electronic patient record which means that they can carry out clinical work with your children in the knowledge that the information they are using is completely up to date.
The Tough books have 3G or 4G Sim cards which allow the health professional to connect to the electronic patient record. Unfortunately, school buildings often block the mobile signal. The solution to this problem is to use Wi-Fi technology.
In the best interests of partnership working we would like to request that your school shares the Wi-Fi log in access with our staff. Your assistance and support would be greatly appreciated and the child’s experience of receiving health services would be improved because the health professional would be able to use all the information that is available to inform assessment and treatment. Your school nurse and/or speech therapist will contact you to action this.
Letter Re Wifi September 2014
The document provides guidance for schools and other childcare settings, such as nurseries, on infection control issues. It is an updated version of guidance that was produced in 2010.
Prevent the spread of infections by ensuring:
For further information and advice visit:
or contact your local health PHE centre. See Appendix 1 for contact details.
With a new academic year about to start we would like to highlight the importance of the childhood immunisation programme and the vital part schools play in supporting this essential element of public health.
Pre School Immunisation
Our data shows that many children starting school are not fully immunised and therefore not protected against serious childhood diseases. We would be grateful if you could remind parents of the need to visit their GP practice if their child is starting school without the pre school booster. These immunisations are due three years after those completed when the child was 2, 3,and 4 months old and offer protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
Immunisations at Secondary School
For many years Secondary and Middle Schools have enabled pupils to access their immunisations in school. This is a highly effective way of ensuring good uptake of these vaccination programmes which has a significant impact on the long term health of pupils. Last year saw the introduction of Meningitis C vaccination in schools. This year the HPV Programme is reduced from three injections to two. We recognise the impact of these immunisation sessions on your school day and would like to thank you for your invaluable support .
To view the two leaflets shown here in full please visit:
If you have further questions please contact your School Nurse.
There has been a recent national and local increase in notifications of scarlet fever to Public Health England, above seasonal expected levels.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the signs, symptoms and the actions to be taken if you become aware of an outbreak at your school or nursery.
Please find details in the letter below from Jim McManus Director of Public Health and Justin Donovan
Letter to Schools
Interim guidelines for the public health management of scarlet fever outbreaks in schools, nurseries and other childcare settings
Improving children’s occupational therapy services in Hertfordshire
From Tuesday 1 October 2013, all children’s occupational therapy services currently delivered by the Hertfordshire County Council will be moving to the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT).
Patients already using these services will not experience any disruption or change to their occupational therapy.
However HCC therapists base office and contact details will have changed, these can be found:
Or by calling the Danestrete Child Development Centre in Stevenage:
This new integrated service will provide a much improved service for users by reducing duplication and simplifying access to one joined up service, ensuring that the child or young person receives the best care available.
We are moving the CAF forms over to an electronic process ie: e-CAF !
2. Public Health Announcements
Girls Active: Funded opportunity to increase physical activity and emotional wellbeing of female pupils
One of the biggest barriers to achievement is pupils’ declining physical and emotional wellbeing
Can you think of any girls in your school who do not seem to be reaching their full potential? Public Health, Herts Sports Partnership, and the CCGS have provided funding to Youth Sports Trust to offer an exciting opportunity for 10 secondary schools to pilot an approach to increase physical activity and emotional wellbeing in teenage girls.
There’s now one more reason to quit smoking, as from 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a vehicle with someone under 18 present.
The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Both the driver and the smoker can be fined £50 if they break the law.
More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless. No matter how careful you think you're being, your family still breathes in the harmful chemicals, putting them at risk of meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia and increasing the likelihood of breathing problems and chest infections.
By not smoking, you will protect the health of yourself and those close to you.
If you need an added incentive to give up, why not join the thousands of others around the county who are giving up smoking for the 28 day Stoptober challenge this October.
To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit:
Hertfordshire County Council’s Stop Smoking service provides free, local stop smoking support to anyone who lives or works in Hertfordshire. Text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 389 3 998 or visit:
You can also get free help to quit from your local pharmacy or GP.
More information about the Smoking in Cars legislation is available at:
To find out more about other health initiatives in Hertfordshire please visit:
In May 2015, Public Health and the University of Hertfordshire hosted a fascinating and insightful masterclass on adolescent health. Key findings from the WHO’s Health Behaviour in School-aged children survey (HBSC) were presented by Professor Fiona Brooks. Fiona has kindly provided us with the slides from the masterclass.
The HBSC data referred to in the slides can also be considered alongside our Hertfordshire data in the form of the Health Related Behaviour Survey (HRBQ). The key findings from this can be found here:
As is reflected in the slides, emotional wellbeing is a key issue, particularly for teenage girls. Some key emotional wellbeing related stats from the HRBQ include:
Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is most common during the winter months.
People often describe colds as flu, but symptoms of flu come on very suddenly and are much more severe than a cold.
Flu symptoms are:
a high fever
How is flu spread?
Flu is caught through droplets of saliva that spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces, toys and equipment where the droplets have landed.
Children of 2, 3 and 4 years are now routinely offered flu vaccination. Pilot vaccination programmes for school aged children are taking place in some parts of the country.
Why are some children of school age offered flu vaccine?
If children suffer from certain types of illness then catching flu can be serious. These children may not be able to fight off ‘flu as effectively as other children can or it might make their existing condition worse.
These conditions include:
If you know of children in your school who suffer from these conditions please be aware that they are especially vulnerable and encourage them to seek advice on ‘flu vaccination from their GPs.
Good hand hygiene by all is a great way of preventing most infection!
As you will be aware, the health service nationally and in Hertfordshire is under great strain at the moment, with our A&E departments in particular finding it hard to cope with the numbers of patients coming through the doors. We are therefore working to raise awareness of alternatives to A&E, targeting groups including parents of young children who are particularly high users of hospital A&E services.
We have produced the attached information sheet, which ideally we would like Hertfordshire schools and Children’s Centres to include in their regular e-newsletters for parents, as soon as possible.
NHS Services in Hertfordshire – No appointment Neded!
Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council are delighted to announce a new service that is now available to families. BeeZee Bodies is a free 17 week lifestyle programmes to support parents and families make healthy but realistic changes to their lives to help manage weight. If you have families you feel would benefit or want to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 363774.
BeeZee Bodies Flyer
For further details about the programme visit:
With winter fast approaching parents and carers across Hertfordshire are being reminded to get their two, three and four year-olds protected from flu. The call comes from Hertfordshire County Council’s Public Health team who are supporting a national campaign to encourage at risk groups to have a flu jab. For most people flu is unpleasant but usually clears up in a week or so. However for some, including the very young, it can cause more serious health issues.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to for parents and carers to protect their children from the virus. The vaccination, used successfully for the first time last year, comes in the form of a quick and painless nasal spray – so there’s no need to worry about needles.
Mums-to-be are also being reminded that they are eligible for a free jab. You can have the jab at any point during your pregnancy and it can also protect your baby for the first few months after birth.
Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Localism, explains why the Council are encouraging parents and carers to get their little ones protected.
“Having this vaccination is the best way to keep two, three and four year-olds flu safe this winter. If you haven’t arranged an appointment yet, I would urge you to do so as soon as you can.”
For more information, speak to your GP, midwife or practice nurse, or visit:
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust have launched their new mental health booklet for young carers. It provides a concise and easy to understand information for young people who are carrying out caring for an adult with a mental health condition. The guide has been written by young carers for young carers living in Hertfordshire, with support from HPFT.
It accompanies a generic Carer Handbook (targeted at Adult carers) which has been in distribution since October 2013. This may be useful for those young carers transitioning to adult care services.
Should you need hard copies of the booklets or further information please feel free to contact Sachdev at the address below.
Sachdev Singh Seyan
Following a rise in cases of whooping cough, women who are between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy are being offered vaccinations to protect their newborn babies.
The vaccination boosts the short-term immunity passed on by pregnant women, to protect their newborn babies. Whooping cough is a highly contagious infection, with newborns particularly vulnerable to severe complications, including pneumonia and even brain damage.
If you could be affected, contact your nurse, midwife or GP to arrange a vaccination. It should also be offered at your next antenatal appointment. If you work with someone who does not have access to the Grid, please pass this message on to them.
For more information and frequently asked questions on whooping cough vaccinations during pregnancy visit the NHS or the Department of Health websites: