Chief nurse of England praises Newham specialist school nurses

Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May with Newham specialist children's and young people's service nurses.

Chief nursing officer for England Ruth May with Newham specialist children's and young people's service (SCYPS) nurses. - Credit: East London NHS Foundation Trust

The chief nursing officer of England has praised specialist school nurses in Newham for keeping children and families safe during the pandemic.

Chief nurse Ruth May visited Newham’s specialist children's and young people's service (SCYPS) nurses last week, including stopping by Cleves Primary School in East Ham and Royal Docks Academy in Custom House.

Specialist nurses at those schools have been part of a project team ensuring that children with complex needs can return to school as quickly as possible.

Children who have a tracheostomy, long term ventilation or complex respiratory difficulties require aerosol generating procedures to help them breathe.

This has been especially challenging to manage with the strict enforcement of Covid-19 guidance around social distancing, ventilation and personal protective equipment.


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Cleves curriculum support teacher Linda Trubshaw told Mrs May how important the specialist school nursing project team had been to the school.

“Without their expertise and guidance, there are children here who would still be isolated at home,” she said.

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“Our link nurse is phenomenal. We have regular contact and all issues are resolved straight away.

“Staff and parents feel empowered and knowledgeable because of the care and dedication that goes into the support we receive.”

Four specialist school nurses currently support more than 150 children across the borough with profound or complex physical needs in both mainstream and special schools.

At Royal Docks Academy, parent Abdul Mannan told Mrs May: “I can’t praise the nurses and teaching staff here enough.

“The dedication and effort they have put into helping to get my son and other children back into school, and then supporting them to take a full part in activities, has been outstanding.

“My son feels connected and he loves being here.”

During her visit to the borough, Mrs May also met all the Newham SCYPS nurses at the Appleby Health Centre in Canning Town.

“This last 16 months has been the most challenging of times, but I’ve never been so proud to be a nurse and to be working in the NHS," Mrs May said.

“You have kept children and families safe and have worked to give those children the best chance in life."

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