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Text message service helping school nurses reach one million young people

A school nurse-led text messaging service that offers confidential health advice to secondary school children can now be accessed by one million users.
ChatHealth.jpg

A school nurse-led text messaging service that offers confidential health advice to secondary school children can now be accessed by one million users.

The smartphone app ChatHealth was developed three years ago by young people and nurses from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), following investment from East Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

It allows 11-19-year-olds to ask health professionals questions about sensitive issues, such as weight, anxiety, drugs and relationships, without face-to-face meetings.

There are also safeguards in place to raise an alert if young people disclose that they are at risk of harm.

The service has grown from 70 Leicestershire-based staff to more than 800 working across 30 organisations nationwide.

Increased reach

School nursing services report ChatHealth has 'significantly'

A school nurse-led text messaging service that offers confidential health advice to secondary school children can now be accessed by one million users.


ChatHealth says it has 'significantly' increased the number of young people it can reach.

The smartphone app ChatHealth was developed three years ago by young people and nurses from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), following investment from East Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

It allows 11-19-year-olds to ask health professionals questions about sensitive issues, such as weight, anxiety, drugs and relationships, without face-to-face meetings.

There are also safeguards in place to raise an alert if young people disclose that they are at risk of harm.

The service has grown from 70 Leicestershire-based staff to more than 800 working across 30 organisations nationwide.

Increased reach

School nursing services report ChatHealth has 'significantly' increased the number of young people it can reach, especially males.

According to its data, one in five service users is male, compared to one in ten attending school nurse clinics.

ChatHealth messaging helplines are also being introduced to parents through health visiting teams, and other community services are looking to adopt a similar system.

LPT's lead for school nursing Sarah Fenwick said: 'ChatHealth is such a valuable tool because it makes it easier for us to reach and support vulnerable young people. All the feedback we receive emphasises how much young people appreciate confidential and discreet access to health professionals.'


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