Children ‘put at risk in the classroom over lack of school nurses’

ITV reports that children who have asthma, epilepsy or diabetes are being put at risk in the classroom because of falling numbers of school nurses, health experts have warned.

According to new data published by the NHS, over 550 school nurses were lost over the last seven years.

Almost a quarter of 11-15 year olds in England report have a long term illness or disability, including asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and arthritis.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says the loss of school nurses is leaving teachers without vital training and pupils without necessary support. It is calling on the government to ensure local authorities have the funds needed for fully-staffed school nursing services.

Fiona Smith, RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing said, “Without the right training, guidance and support from school nursing services, teachers could be completely unprepared for this kind of situation – putting children’s lives at serious risk,” she added.

A Department of Health spokesman said local authorities make decisions about public health funding but more investment is being made: “School nurses play an important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of young people.

“Local authorities are best placed to make choices about services for their community which is why decisions about public health funding sit with them.

Read more Children ‘put at risk in the classroom over lack of school nurses’

Have you recently lost your school nurse? Should teachers receive more first aid training? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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