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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


Flu vaccination programme

Flu Vaccination programme will start again in the autumn term. This year it is more important than ever to help protect against flu.

A Public Health England briefing for Head Teachers about this year’s seasonal flu vaccination programme in schools is available.


Medical needs training

It is important that your school staff receive specialist training with administering insulin and monitoring blood glucose levels. The Specialist Paediatric Diabetic Nurses (SPDNs) will be involved with the family and will come into school to do this training and assist with writing a care plan for individual children with Type 1 Diabetes.  Please contact the SPDNS on 01438 285000. If they don’t cover your area, they will give you the contact details of your local SPDNS team.

See also managing medications advice from the Health and Safety team


Diabetes 4 T's campaign

Diabetes UK have re-launched the 4 T’s campaign to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children & young people. This is especially important currently when people may delay or avoid seeking medical advice or treatment because of social distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The early signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are easy to mistake for a viral infection or other illness, which is why it’s so important to be 4T aware.

What are the 4Ts?
  • Toilet - Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies
  • Thirsty - Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst
  • Tired - Feeling more tired than usual
  • Thinner - Losing weight or looking thinner than usual

Please seek urgent/same day medical advice if your child or young person has any of these symptoms to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment.


Health for teens and teenagers posters

Health for kids and teenagers A5 posters.


Hertfordshire Family Centre Service

Public Health Nursing (PHN), who provide Health Visiting and School Nursing services, and Children’s Centres will be re-launched from 1st October 2018 as the Family Centre Service.


Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities (Public Health England)

A practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings. This updated guide published in 2017 provides advice on: preventing the spread of infections, which diseases to vaccinate for, how long to keep children away from school, managing infectious diseases and cleaning the environment.

Updated HCC guidance on communicable diseases (2018)


Scarlet Fever advice following a higher number of reports of the disease than previous years in England

There are currently a higher number of reports than the previous four seasons of cases of Scarlet Fever in England. As yet cases in Hertfordshire are not higher than we would expect. There is no cause for alarm as this is seasonal increase in an infection which is comparatively mild, it is worth knowing the signs and when to seek medical help.

If a parent or anyone thinks their child has it and are showing symptoms, they should take advice by contacting their GP by phone or calling NHS111. Although a mild infection and not difficult to treat in most cases, it sensible for parents to get advice because the risk of complications varies among children.

The NHS Website has a helpful page on

Guidance has also been issued to

Symptoms of scarlet fever to watch out for:

Scarlet fever is characterised by a rash, which usually accompanies a sore throat, and is sometimes confused with the measles' rash. The bacteria which cause the infection produce toxins (poisons), which cause a rash, itching, a red and swollen tongue and flushed cheeks. The first symptoms of scarlet fever often include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. After 12 to 48 hours the characteristic fine red rash develops (if you touch it, it feels like sandpaper). Typically, it first appears on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body. On more darkly-pigmented skin, the scarlet rash may be harder to spot, although the 'sandpaper' feel should be present.

  • Fever over 38.3º C (101º F) or higher is common
  • White coating on the tongue, which peels a few days later, leaving the tongue looking red and swollen (known as 'strawberry tongue')
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Feeling tired and unwell
  • Flushed red face, but pale around the mouth. The flushed face may appear more 'sunburnt' on darker skin
  • Peeling skin on the finger tips, toes and groin area, as the rash fades.

It usually takes two to five days from infection before the first symptoms appear. However, the incubation period may be as short as one day and as long as seven days. Scarlet fever usually clears up after a week, but it is advisable to visit your GP to get a full diagnosis and proper treatment.

More information on the NHS web page for

Over the Counter Medicines Guidance for schools

Over the Counter Medicines Guidance for schools

Update on Adrenaline Auto-injectors (AAIs)

Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools
Summary of the Guidance for Spare Adrenaline Auto Injector (AAIs)
Hertfordshire Medicines Management Committee Adrenaline Auto-Injectors for Treating Anaphylaxis in Primary Care
Patient Information Leaflet: Adrenaline Auto-Injectors

Measuring Height and Weight of Children in Year 6 - 2019-20 (NCMP)

The 2019/20 NCMP was halted early due to Covid-19.

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.

Information for all parents of reception and year 6 pupils about healthy weight support and 19/20 NCMP

Headteachers Letter
Parents Letter

Schools are requested to use the template below when providing their pupil lists for the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) to their school nurse.

Herts for Learning ICT Services 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:


Exam Stress Information

Guidance and resources for schools and parents on minimising exam stress for pupils in Hertfordshire.

Healthy coping strategies, self help tools and mental health support
Anxiety toolkit for schools


Nursery School (Free School Meals Applications)

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


Health for Kids and Health for Teens

Health for Kids is aimed at children aged four to eleven, this website provides health information in a fun and interactive way.

Health for Teens is for 11 to 19 year olds . Launched across the county earlier this year through events attended by secondary schools, it delivers topical health messages, covering a wide range of subjects which enables young people to make the right choices about their health and wellbeing.

Young people have told us:

“ There is loads of information about health topics. You can find out about different things you may be too shy to talk to someone about . The layout is fun and easy to use as it has been designed by teenagers for teenagers. “

Regularly up dated by the school nursing service, these are a fantastic resource for pupils, parents, carers and teachers. This includes interactive games, signposting to other health services and downloadable relevant information material.

Please enable us to reach a wider audience and continue to promote this highly regarded resource by adding a link to the relevant website to your parent mail system.

For more information, here is a short film about the launch events.


Child Flu Immunisations - Head of Primary Schools

A letter for Heads of Primary Schools regarding child flu immunisation within Primary Schools.


What to Do if Your Child is Unwell

A quick guide for parents for schools and settings to display with what to do if their child is unwell.

HCT School Nursing Service Health Care Plan Guidance for Schools

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.

Andrea Harrington
Strategic Lead and Operational Manager for School Nursing
December 2015

Change4Life School Zone

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 Guidance for Parents and Schools

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


School Nurse Service Re-design

A short briefing paper on plans for redesigning Hertfordshire’s school nursing service is available for feedback.


Childhood Influenza (Flu) Immunisation Programme 2016/17 Update

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:


Mental Health Training

The Mental Health Training 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 Jen Beer at  

Please have a look at the resource at:

Information on other mental health training available to schools
Resources and information for young people, parents and professionals

Link Between Pupil Health and Wellbeing and Attainment

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.


Online School Nursing Referrals

Parents, teachers, GPs and other healthcare staff can now refer a child to our school nursing service online. 


School Nurse Contact Details

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


Wi-Fi Access for NHS Staff

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


Guidance on Infection Control in Schools and Other Childcare Settings

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:

  • routine immunisation
  • high standards of personal hygiene and practice, particularly handwashing
  • maintaining a clean environment

For further information and advice visit:

or contact your local health PHE centre. See Appendix 1 for contact details.


The Routine Child Immunisation Programme

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

nhs pre school

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 Schoolnhs secondary

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.


Increase in Scarlet Fever

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
Director of Education and  Early Intervention:

Letter to Schools
Interim guidelines for the public health management of scarlet fever outbreaks in schools, nurseries and other childcare settings


Children’s Occupational Therapy Services

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:
Tel: 01438 737782

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 !
It is being piloted in Stevenage which of course includes all their schools in the partnership. CAF currently exists here:





2. Public Health Announcements

Information for all parents of reception and year 6 pupils about healthy weight support and 19/20 NCMP

Every year in England, children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).
This year however, due to Covid-19, it was not possible to continue with the measurement programme and it was therefore stopped. Once it was halted, no further children were measured, and no further feedback letters were sent to parents or carers. This decision was made nationally by Public Health England, but was also in line with our local view that families, schools and our health partners had other urgent priorities and challenges to think about at this time.


Promoting a healthy eating environment in schools

This guidance is for ALL schools in Hertfordshire, providing you with information that can help you to ensure children are eating healthily during the school day, enabling them to have the energy and focus required to do well academically and to stay happy and healthy.


Protect your Family from Secondhand Smoke

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:


What is Flu?

fluFlu 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
an aching body; and extreme tiredness

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:
severe asthma, diabetes and heart conditions and children who are immunosuppressed.

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!


BeeZee Bodies

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 or call 01234 363774.

BeeZee Bodies Flyer

For further details about the programme visit:


Protect your little ones from flu this winter

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:


Whooping Cough Vaccination - Advice for Pregnant Women

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: