Children and young people grill candidates for School Nurse posts in Selby

Children and young people in the Selby district have helped appoint a new Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nurse) by sitting on the interview panel and giving candidates a grilling.

Back to front, left to right: Dominic Williamson (13, The Snaith School) Elliot Williamson (11, Hensall Primary) Lucy Franklin (10, Whitley and Eggborough Primary School), Lacy Lifsey (8, Kellington Primary School) Harvey Williamson (7, Hensall Primary School).
Back to front, left to right: Dominic Williamson (13, The Snaith School) Elliot Williamson (11, Hensall Primary) Lucy Franklin (10, Whitley and Eggborough Primary School), Lacy Lifsey (8, Kellington Primary School) Harvey Williamson (7, Hensall Primary School).

The five children support Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s 5-19 Healthy Child Team by coming up with questions influenced by their own experiences.

The children and young people were chosen from the current caseload of children living in North Yorkshire. They all have had different levels of experience of working with the Healthy Child Team.

The children met with the Team Leader prior to the interviews and compiled a set of questions. The questions they chose were personal to them and reflected their view of what a school nurse should be.

After each interview the panel took time to mark the candidates out of 10 in terms of how friendly and approachable they were, they listened to each other’s views and reasoned their answers with each other really well.

The candidates were given the opportunity to ask the children and young people questions. These were well received and supported the panel in being able to describe what kind of a service they would like. It was clear to see that they felt empowered by this experience.

The children said:

Lacey Lifsey: “I liked all the nurses, it was hard to pick the best one.

Lucy Franklin: “I was really nervous to start with but the nurses were all really nice, I liked asking them about whether they liked school when they were younger”.

Harvey Williamson: “I liked my name badge. The lady in the café asked me if I worked at the hospital, which was cool, I hope the nurse that got the job comes to my school so I can tell everybody that I interviewed her.”

The successful candidates were Kirsty Burton, Heidi Fewings and Sara Upton who will be starting with the Trust over the coming weeks.

Sue Williamson, Team Leader for the 5-19 Healthy Child Team in the Selby district, said: “I was very impressed by the calibre of the questions and how well the children were able to articulate their views. The questions touched on some very personal issues for the children and it was good that an Assistant Practitioner was on hand to support them through this. For example, one of the children had experience of being bullied at school and wanted to pose the question of how the candidate would have supported them in that situation.

“The panel grew a little nervous as the interview times approached, but it was touching to see how the older children on the panel supported and comforted the younger panel members offering reassurance that they would help them read their questions if they needed to. As the interviews went on this, wasn’t necessary and they grew in confidence which each candidate.

“During the interviews the CYP showed respect for the candidates, they sat quietly listening to the answers of the questions posed by other panel members and asked their own questions clearly and in a friendly manner.”

The 5-19 Healthy Child Service works in community settings to deliver universal and targeted interventions designed to meet public health outcomes. It ensures the emotional and physical health and wellbeing of families, children and young people across North Yorkshire.

It offers advice and information and conducts health checks on children entering school and on transfer to secondary schools. It is the first point of contact for schools when there are concerns about a child’s health and wellbeing.