Healthcare needs in schools guidance consultation: response analysis report

Analysis report summarising those responses received to our consultation on guidance on healthcare needs in schools.

Chapter 3 - NHS board and education authority agreements and policies

Question 6: Are there any areas missing, requiring strengthening, or which are not required and could be removed?

Answer No. of respondents % of all respondents
Yes 54 67
No 12 15
Don’t Know 7 9
No Answer 8 10
Total 81 100

32. A sizeable majority of respondents felt that amendments could be made to this chapter. Of those respondents who didn’t think amendments were necessary, only one provided a comment by saying that it is very helpful to see that a data sharing agreement is advised. There were a further 57 responses over and above this one providing suggested amendments.

33. Although one respondent did not provide a yes/no answer, they welcomed the guidance referencing consulting with children, young people and their parents when developing local strategic joint agreements. However, the stakeholder asked the need to consult with children and young people be made explicit since this recognises their right to a say in decisions which impact on them.

34. There were identical comments regarding this chapter as there were about chapter 2. These comments focused on what happens when best practice is not followed; the lack of coverage on obesity; what happens when a school or local authority prevents a child from accessing medical or physical help in the school setting; communication with children and young people to ensure their needs are being met; and where there is available points of contact when parents have questions about healthcare.

35. In relation to specific paragraphs in this chapter, many comments noted that paragraph 71 appears to be incomplete. Other comments noted the following: the duties in paragraph 65 may not always be responsibility of the child health commissioner; paragraph 66 who the school health team is when nurses are focusing on children with additional support needs; paragraph 69 should include policy on disposing of sharp and/or contaminated equipment and reference to dental services; paragraph 72 “will be” repeated on the first line and it should be changed to say that accredited organisations will provide suitable training and that community paediatricians rarely provide training and whether “private trainers” also referred to third sector groups; paragraph 78 to provide more clarity and detail on routes to resolving disputes, including information on complaints processes.

36. There was also reference to consistency of health service provision. North Ayrshire believing that equitable provision should be established across Scotland. Greater Glasgow and Clyde also agreeing although highlighting the challenges they face working across 6 different local authority areas. Other themes noted in responses to this chapter include how frequently joint agreements should be updated and whether there is a duty to publish them. The issue of recognising mental health was raised again in relation to this chapter, including the need for CAMHS to work with colleagues in health, education and social work and giving mental health equal recognition with physical health.

37. The final issue to cover in this chapter is that of insurance. Responses that that staff in schools must not undertake tasks which are not covered by their employer’s insurance and that the line “as far as possible” should be removed at the start of paragraph 75. In respect of insurance references in paragraph 76, responses suggested strengthening this paragraph to say that NHS Boards must immediately be made aware of cases where there are difficulties in securing insurance to meet the needs of children and young people.


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