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School Nurses on the Covid-19 frontline in Dudley

1 June 2020
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School nurses in Dudley have been playing a central role in the fight to tackle the spread of coronavirus in the region’s care homes.
Dudley School Nurses
Dudley School Nursing Team
Nurses and support staff from the Dudley School Nurses service – which is managed by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust - have been redeployed to carry our coronavirus testing for residents and staff across the borough’s 90 care homes. Since March, nurses from the team have carried out over 1,700 tests.

With many of Dudley's 120 schools only open to vulnerable children and those of key workers, due to the pandemic, the service stepped up to help Dudley Council's public health team with coronavirus testing.

Dudley School Nurse Team Lead, Gail Hooper, said: "We are still providing a vital service to those schools in Dudley that are still open during the coronavirus.

"Members of the team were keen to help on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19 and we were approached by the local authority to see if we could help with care home testing. Everyone in the team received the swab test training and several nurses and support staff were redeployed.

"We were only too happy to step up and help protect care home residents and staff during these unprecedented times.

"I'm immensely proud of how the team has responded to the challenge. We have received a warm welcome from both residents and staff and we hope the team's efforts will help save lives."

The Dudley School Nurses offer support to children, young people, their families and teachers across the region.

The nurses promote healthy lifestyles, provide health assessments and screenings and support pupils with long term health conditions or disabilities such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy. The team also works closely with schools to address smoking, alcohol and drug misuse.

Yvonne Gough, Service Manager and Professional Lead for Specialist Public Health 0-19 Services in Shropshire, Telford and Dudley, said: "I would like to thank the team for all their efforts. The way in which they have adapted and carried out so many tests speaks volumes.

"This is another excellent example of how the NHS and health workers are united when it comes to fighting this pandemic."

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care at Dudley Council, said:

“This crisis has brought out the very best in people, with many willing to take on different roles to support the crucial work to reduce the spread of infection.

“The school nurses are no exception and we are incredibly grateful for their support in our care homes. Thank you on behalf of all us at the council.”

Pictured: The Dudley School Nursing team, featuring the nurses, support workers and admin team.
Next review due: 1 September 2020