An innovative new direct access health advice service has been launched in Fife for young people aged 12 to 19 who are enrolled in school.
The Fife School Nursing Health Hub has launched a free, confidential text messaging service which enables young people to access health advice from the School Nursing Service.
Pupils can now speak directly with the School Nursing Service via text message on 07312 263023 to access support and advice on issues such as relationships, sexual health, smoking and alcohol, emotions, body changes, sleep and healthier lifestyle choices.
The new service is available weekdays between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm excluding public holidays and young people messaging within this time should receive a response within 24 hours. The service will supplement existing face-to-face support offered by the School Nursing Health Hub and is intended to offer an alternative and more convenient communication channel.
The initiative has been made possible by a partnership between NHS Fife’s Digital and Information team and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s School Nursing Service, with funding support from the Fife Health Charity.
Fiona Crook is Interim Lead Nurse for the School Nursing Service in Fife. Fiona said:
“The launch of this new service provides an added route of direct contact with the School Nursing Service for Young People in Fife.
“Really importantly, the new service has been launched following feedback from young people across Fife. We asked young people what they wanted from the School Nursing Service and how we they thought we could support them better. The feedback we received was really useful and we are delighted that, along with NHS Fife’s Digital and Information Team, we are now in a position to launch this new and innovative service in response to that feedback.
“The introduction of our text messaging service will enable us to reduce barriers, improve accessibility to the service and to ensure young people get the right support at the right time."
Niall Jowitt is a pupil at Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes, and said of the new Health Hub:
“As pupils we sometimes feel it can be embarrassing to talk our health needs, whether that be sexual health, emotional health or physical health even.
“Having a remote service like this really does make it easier for young people to reach out and get any help that they need.”
Notes to editors:
- The information sought and given to young people will be treated confidentially and would not be shared unless there is a concern about the safety or welfare of the young person or others.
- The new text messaging service is supported by software called ChatHealth. Find out more about ChatHealth at: https://chathealth.nhs.uk/
- Fife Health Charity is the strategic charity partner of NHS Fife. It aims to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the people of Fife through funding and grants that support projects that are not normally funded by the NHS. Find out more about the work of the Fife Health Charity at: https://www.nhsfife.org/fifehealthcharity/