Pupils Can Book Appointments With School Nurse By Text And Emails
Pupils will be able to book appointments with school nurses by text messages and emails, in a drive to improve children's health, it was announced on Monday.
Young people sometimes feel too embarrassed or shy to approach teachers and health professionals directly, according to the government.
The Department of Health said it hopes the scheme will improve the health of children because school nurses teach them about obesity, teenage pregnancy and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Three hundred schoolchildren have offered to work with the department to come up with ideas to help pupils make more use of their school nurses and the health advice they provide.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said: "We want young people to be able to speak to their school nurses more often so they get sound health advice.
"Pupils have told us they want to be able to make appointments by text rather than going through the teacher, so that's something we're going to put into action.
"School nurses are hugely important. They can give young people advice on all aspects of health care.
"We're going to work with school pupils to look at more innovative ways to get advice and support from school nurses."
Young people told the British Youth Council that nurses are friendly and trusting and suggested pupils should have the choice of seeing male or female nurses. They said the health professionals should attend assemblies and classrooms to make themselves known to all pupils.
Liam Preston, chair of the council, said: "As a youth-led charity, the British Youth Council know that health services for young people work best when they are shaped by young people.
"Young people have told the Department of Health in their own words, that school nurses need to be visible, accessible and confidential, and that young people should be able to feed back on the service they receive.
"At the moment too many young people are missing out on getting help from their school nurse."