School pupils benefit from online health advice
Winner: A school nurse has created an online service that gives teenagers information to manage their health and a means of contacting her confidentially.
Ruth Butler, who works at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, created the Health Matters website from scratch after becoming concerned about her pupils’ sources of information.
The resource has earned Ruth a place as a finalist in the Child Health category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016. The award, sponsored by specialist journal Nursing Children and Young People (NCYP), recognises innovation that improves the care of children and young people.
The website includes evidence-based health education resources that young people can access independently and confidentially, as well as links to recommended websites, fact sheets to use in school nurse consultations, and care plans for common conditions.
The site also enables young people to easily and confidentially access the school nurse and ask for help, without having to go through school staff.
Presentations on topics such as menstruation and anaphylaxis are featured on the site, and many of these are used trust-wide in health education sessions and in training events for staff.
‘Since becoming a school nurse I have been challenged by how difficult it is to engage young people in health and wellbeing,’ says Ruth. ‘My aim was to make Health Matters the hub of our service so the whole school community knew how and when to access support.
‘It is a virtual school health service that not only encourages young people to develop independence in exploring health and identifying health needs, but also offers reliable information.’
NCYP editor Chris Walker was on the shortlisting panel. She says: ‘The standard this year was high and the entries show the enormous range of activities that nurses working with children are engaged in.’
About the sponsor
Nursing Children and Young People (NCYP)
Nursing Children and Young People is the UK’s leading journal covering practical and evidence-based practice in child health nursing. Nursing Children and Young People is packed full of summaries of published research studies, commentary on research, opinion pieces from leading figures in children’s nursing and students, plus listings of conferences, awards and other resources. The journal also provides a comprehensive news round-up and news analysis to ensure you never miss important developments in children and young people’s nursing. Subscribe to the journal here.