White Paper boosts school nursing service

Every school will have access to a school nurse by 2010, the
government has announced.

Primary care trusts are to be funded to appoint a full time
school nurse for every cluster of primary schools and the
associated secondary school. School nurses will assess
children’s health needs, provide confidential health advice
and information, and support children with medical needs in

The plans are contained in the public health White Paper
Choosing Health.

In a 35 page chapter on children and young people, the White
Paper also outlines plans for reform of the welfare food scheme,
providing fruit, vegetable and milk vouchers to low income pregnant
women and all pregnant girls under age 18. Infant formula will no
longer be available from NHS clinics in a bid to boost

Doctors and midwives will be expected to routinely ask pregnant
women whether they have experienced domestic violence, and to refer
those who are at risk to the police or counselling or support

Sure Start is to train staff on social and emotional development
of young children, and provide guidance for early years
practitioners on how to change patterns of parental behaviour.

The government is to “strongly consider” introducing
nutrient-based standards for school meals, and is to ask Ofsted to
look at healthy eating when it inspects schools. 

Measures to discourage schools from selling playing fields are
to be strengthened, in a bid to encourage more sport. “The
government is firmly in favour of competitive sport as a means of
teaching teamwork, discipline, self-respect and how to cope with
winning and losing” says the White Paper.

From 2006 the Department of Health will pilot primary care and
specialist health  services specially targeted at young people.
More confidential information about sexual health for young people,
and for parents, is also planned.

Other measures announced in the White Paper include legislation
to prevent shops which repeatedly sell cigarettes to children from
selling them altogether.

Read the White Paper’s chapter on children at http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/09/47/58/04094758.pdf

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