Unite calls for more school nurses to tackle obesity

The DoH should stop its 'pointless' weight measurement programme in schools, and hire more school nurses to tackle the root causes of obesity, Unite/CPHVA says.

Photograph: Jim Varney
Photograph: Jim Varney

The union is urging the DoH to double the workforce by immediately recruiting an extra 2,000 qualified school nurses.

The advice follows the data from the child measurement programme showing that one in five children aged 10-11 are obese.

There are more than 3,300 secondary schools in England, and the DoH has pledged to have a school nurse to cover each of these and their surrounding clusters of primary schools by 2010.

But latest figures show that although there are 2,232 whole-time equivalent nurses employed in schools in England, just 893 have school nursing qualifications.

Ros Godson, Unite/CPHVA professional officer for school-aged children, said the child measurement programme wasted money that could be spent on more effective support.

‘Weighing and measuring children as they enter and leave primary school is having no beneficial effect on their size, as statistics show they are just getting fatter. The government’s laissez faire attitude is contributing to the build up of health problems, such as diabetes for future generations.’


Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

NHS logo on tiled wall

GP assistants are no solution to the workforce crisis in general practice, warns RCGP

Plans to recruit more than 1,000 GP assistants in practices across England 'must...

Person looking at a smartphone

GP at Hand to pull out of Birmingham next month

Babylon GP at Hand has decided to pull out of Birmingham at the end of next month,...

Dr Ollie Hart and Dr Devina Maru

How shared decision making can help GPs better meet patients' needs

Dr Ollie Hart and Dr Devina Maru are at opposite phases of their career – Dr Hart...

Stethoscope hung up in medical centre

London faces growing GP workforce gap as workload continues to soar

A surge in vacant GP posts over the past year has left half of London's practices...

Health and social care secretary Therese Coffey

Coffey targets rapid GP access over face-to-face appointments

Therese Coffey has said she 'will not be prescriptive' on how GPs see patients -...


Study reveals 'significant rise in anti-GP rhetoric'

Media coverage of general practice last year saw a 'significant rise in anti-GP rhetoric'...