Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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School Nurse Caseloads  

 

The school nurse is the named nurse for a designated group of schools or school and provides a universal, not uniform, service to the school age population attending those schools. This constitutes a caseload.

There is no prescribed minimum or maximum number of clients, which denotes a caseload. Managers have said that school nurses do not have a caseload because there are too many children. This has nothing to do with definitions of caseload but is an issue about resources.

There will be individual children within the caseload that the school nurse provides individualised interventions for. This constitutes a workload. Workloads fluctuate as children move between caseload and workload depending on need and prioritisation.

Managers have said that school nurses do not have a caseload as they only provide a service during school time hours. This has nothing to do with definitions of caseload but is an issue about access. The health needs of the school age population do not go away when the school gates close.

Most community health services have in the main been provided on traditional working week basis, that is, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Does this then mean that other community practitioner colleagues do not have a caseload?

To improve access more flexible arrangements are being introduced. With the provision of evening and weekend services. Telephone access outside normal working hours.

Within school nursing there are moves to improve access with school nurses being employed on full time contracts rather than term time only working. Evening and weekend services such as parent support groups, drop- ins’ for young people and in more consumer friendly settings outside school.  


August 2003

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