Youngsters to get health help on their phones

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We all have our fair share of embarrassing illnesses and health-related questions – but a new service will allow youngsters to speak to their school nurse by text message instead of face-to-face.

The new service, launched by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, can also be used out-of-hours.

The School Nurse Messaging Service is a tried-and-tested initiative that has been positively welcomed in other parts of the country

Service integration manager Lorraine Chadwick said: “It’s a contemporary solution that is resulting in more and more young people contacting school nurses with their concerns.”

The ChatHealth service, which the trust said has been widely tested, particularly led to an increase of teenage boys speaking to their nurse more during its pilot, it said.

A free smartphone app is now in the pipeline, although the trust said students who would rather see nurses face-to-face will be able to do so.

Lorraine added: “The School Nurse Messaging Service is a tried-and-tested initiative that has been positively welcomed in other parts of the country.

“Implementing the system is hassle-free and it’s convenient for students to have access to healthcare with many using the service outside school hours.”

The number for ChatHealth is 07480 635050. The service is free, and replies are sent within a day.