School Nurse, Elaine Stafford (see photo attached), recently arrived on-Island to set up a new School Health Service.
Working in partnership with Island schools, Elaine aims to deliver high quality universal health care to schoolchildren and their families to reduce health inequalities and provide accessible health care to ensure every child reaches their full potential through prevention and early intervention.
We can provide advice, guidance and support for a range of issues such as behaviour, healthy lifestyles, growing up, puberty, sexual health, toileting and emotional wellbeing.
The benefits of having a School Health Service include:
To provide a first point of contact for children, young people and parents or carers needing health advice or information
To support children and young people with identified health needs. This may include children with complex learning and /or physical health needs
To initiate and support activities for promoting health across schools and the community
To contribute to the reduction of health inequalities such as diabetes and obesity
To work in partnership to safeguard children and young people
Director of Health, Dr Akeem Ali, said:
Elaine has arrived at the best time possible. We are now commencing a service development programme focused on preventing ill-health, promoting wellbeing and managing chronic diseases better by combining effective treatment with personal choices to reduce risk factors.
We can do so much to help children understand and avoid known risk factors to health in the first instance. This is where the school nurse role becomes vital. Elaine will work with children, parents, teachers, colleagues across SHG and the community at large to kick-start our wellbeing programme for young people. This will be about giving every young person the best start in life.
Children are our future, so if we look after our children now this will help secure the future. There is a high incidence in the developed world of diabetes, obesity and heart disease and these problems can sometimes be attributed to our childhood and the lifestyles we choose. By helping the children and their families we can start to have an impact on this and the next generation.
Elaine completed her paediatric training in Alder Hey, Liverpool. Her BA Honours Degree included the specialist practitioner role of School Nurse. She has since spent 40 years working with children and young people in the National Health Service.
Source: St Helena Government