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school support nurse epilepsy

RCN calls for better funding of school nurses

Royal College of Nursing has called on the government and local authorities to 'properly fund' school nursing services for those with epilepsy.

The RCN, the professional body that supports 435,000 nurses, midwives, HCSWs and students in the UK, has warned the government of the risks posed to school children with medical conditions such as epilepsy.

The body highlight NHS data, published earlier this week, that 550 school nurses in England have been lost since 2010. More than a hundred of which have been cut this year alone.

According to the RCN, despite new statutory guidance from the Department for Education in 2014, which stated that all children with health conditions should be supported to go to school, the number of school nurses has fallen from 2987 to just 2433 full time NHS posts in England.

The RCN spoke to Lisa Thurston, mother to 2015 Young Epilepsy Champions winner, Owen. Lisa raises the importance of specialist nurses who helped her son during his time at education

Quoted in The Guardian, LISA THURSTON, said:

The school’s support in Owen’s care was absolutely critical. When Owen was diagnosed in 2010, the school nursing team provided free training to ensure the school staff had the skills in emergency care to help Owen if and when he needed it. We were very lucky that Owen got this crucial care, but diminishing school nursing teams will have a serious impact on similar children with health conditions.

Many schools don’t have any emergency medication training or are forced to pay for it. There’s also a lack of general awareness training for staff on the wider impact of the condition on the individual child, such as the side effects of their medication, or the anxiety of their illness.

As a parent and a school governor, it is frightening to see the difference between statutory guidance and what care is actually available. Every child deserves to be safe at school and without the right health care staff I just don’t think this will be the case.

Read more about Lisa and Owen's story

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Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Charitable Trust.
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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