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Back to school support available for Gateshead families from local NHS school nurses and health visitors

Posted on: Friday 4 Sep 2020

A range of different types of support for Gateshead families with children going back to school in September have been set up by an NHS team in the borough.

The Covid-19 pandemic has raised the levels of anxiety in a number of children and young people. The changes in routine, coupled with the potential health risks for themselves, family and loved ones brought on by the Covid-19 situation has meant that they may be reluctant or anxious to return to school.

A level of anxiety is normal in the current climate. However, some children and young people may experience levels of anxiety which have an impact on their emotional wellbeing and school experience.

To support children, young people and their parents, from Monday 7 September the Growing Healthy Gateshead 0-19 (which includes health visitors and school nurses) service will have additional staff to answer calls to its Single Point of Contact telephone 03000 031 918.

Gateshead schools return on Monday 7 September and for the first two weeks of the school term the Growing Healthy service has increased its virtual emotional wellbeing clinics held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of both weeks (8th, 9th and 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th). The extended hours are now from 2pm-5pm.

During the autumn term the service is also providing a virtual school drop in clinic that children and young people can access to speak directly to a school nurse. This runs every Wednesday 1-2pm.

To access these clinics, please call the Single Point of Contact telephone number or message the team via its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GrowingHealthyGateshead/

Joanne Gill, Locality Manager for Growing Healthy Gateshead, said: “Over the past few months we’ve had to adapt how we work with families. For example, we’ve not been able to run group sessions, which we know were much appreciated by families. Back to school is a challenging time so we’ve put in place extra support, even if it has to be in a different way.

“Our message to families and young people is that we are here to support you. If you need help, assistance or guidance, please get in touch.”

Some of the ideas parents might want to consider and that they can do with their child or children at home are:

  • Practice going outside each day even if it is only for a few minutes
  • If you are taking walks walk to the school and walk around the school if you can
  • Remind your child of the things they enjoyed most about being in school
  • Liaise with the school to see if they will agree to a visit to the school out of normal school hours, this will help your child realise and visualise the protective measures that schools have put into place 

ENDS    

For further information please contact:

Paul Widdowfield, Communications and Marketing Manager, paul.widdowfield1@nhs.net and 01423 557740.