Shropshire’s Public Health Nursing Service

Shropshire Council’s Public Health commission health visiting and school nursing across the county.

Health visitors and school nurses are essential health resources in our neighbourhoods and schools. They have a crucial role in detecting needs, enhancing and maintaining health, preventing disease and tackling inequalities – supporting our children to flourish. At a time of rising need and complexity, health visiting and school nursing teams are more important than ever.

The Public Health Nursing service consists of health visitors, school nurses, family nurse partnership and skilled practitioners to support the government’s Healthy Child Programme for children aged 0 to 19 and up to 25 for people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The aim of the service is to support health outcomes for children and young people, and they are able to offer support, information and signposting on a number of issues, for example child development, healthy eating, physical activity, continence, toilet training, emotional health and wellbeing, relationships, sexual health, accident prevention and oral health, dependent upon each child/ young person’s need.

Shropshire’s health visiting service plays a crucial role in giving children the best start in life and as a council we have embraced the opportunity to make a difference in this key development stage.

The impact of this early support cannot be underestimated. It builds resilience, encourages healthy lifestyles and aids social and emotional development. As leads for the Healthy Child programme in Shropshire, Health visitors work alongside other health and social care colleagues, including family nurse partnership teams, nursery nurses and other specialist health professionals.

Following the success of an Open Access clinic at Sunflower House in Shrewsbury, Health Visitors are rolling out Open Access Clinics within the Family Hubs to increase access to support for families.

The Health Visiting, School Nursing and Family Nurse Partnership teams are working with other agencies as part of the Integration programme to provide prevention and early intervention for families.

The support provided includes everything from universal help for all new parents, including from caring for a new baby, ensuring good uptake of immunisations, to identifying those in need of more intensive support.

Health Visitors have also been working with some of Shropshire’s Early Years settings to pilot an Integrated 2-year review with early years staff. The review aims to assess children’s development between 2-3 years of age where they have previously not accessed the health visitor for their 2-year review.

If any developmental needs are identified, they can offer early support alongside the early years setting and signposting or referral to other services as required.Our school nursing team have also been piloting a digital health assessment at reception and year 7 and are looking to roll this out to schools across the county. This will enable them to identify any health needs and support pupils to access support as required.

The Local Government Association (LGA) have recently published a series of health visiting case studies in their report Giving children the best start in life: Shining a spotlight on health visiting.

These health visiting case studies illustrate the pivotal role health visitors play in ensuring children and families get the support they need in challenging times.

You can read the report here: Giving children the best start in life: Shining a spotlight on health visiting | Local Government Association

Page last updated 21 May 2024