East Sussex school nurses' experiences of the National Child Measurement programme in 2008/09 and their views on the role of school nurses in tackling childhood obesity
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AbstractThe National Child Measurement Porgramme (NCMP) is one element of the government's Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives strategy. It aims to gather population level data to analyse trends in childhood obesity, inform local planning and engage with families about healthy livestyles and weight issues. Routine feedback of NCMP results has recently been introduced in order to inform parents if their child's weight is unhealthy. Moreover, Primary Care Trusts are being encouraged to proactively follow up children with unhealthy weights and offer parents appropriate advice and referral.School nurses are instrumental in weighting and measuring reception and year 6 aged children for the NCMP on an annual basis. As health professionals working in an educational setting, they also have a unique position in schools and are viewed as playing a pivital role in tackling childhood obesity, often being the first point of contact for parents who are concerned abouth their child's weight. Yet there is a dearth of studies into their experiences of how the NCMP is working in practice, how they perceive their role in the routine feedback of results and how they view their wider role in tackling childhood obesity in school settings. This study undertook one-to-one interviews with a sampe of 15 school nurses working in East Sussex primary schools. It aimed to find out their experiences of the NCMP in 2008/09, how the programme is working in practice and their views of the role of school nurses in tackling childhood obesity, particuarly when routine feedback of results is introduced in the county in 2010. Findings suggest that measuring children has impacts on school nurse workloads and is often viewed as an inappropriate use of time. Moreover, it is not always easy to adhere to some of the NCMP guidelines for measuring children. The findings also suggest that issues suck as a lack of training provision and care pathways for childhood obesity undermine the competence and confidence school nurses to tackle childhood obesity in East Sussex. recommendations are made as how this might be addressed.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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