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Teamwork 'crucial' to school sexual health success

School nurses are “ideally placed” to provide sexual health and contraceptive advice to under-16s, it is claimed.

New guidance by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) claims school nurses equipped with “appropriate training and experience” should be able to assess the need for and supply hormonal emergency contraception using patient group directions (PGDs).

The RCN did stress, however, the importance of school nurses working as a team with sexual health nurses to ensure the success and credibility of sexual health services in school-based settings.

“[Sexual health] can be a crucial issue for school nurses and we hope that [our guidance] will provide our members with clear guidance in the years to come,” said Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary.

The RCN claims a school nurse's relationship with young people and ability to assess, supply emergency contraception and condoms, and provide onward referrals to family planning clinics make them the ideal candidate for performing sexual health services.

Question: Do you think school nurses are the "ideal candidate" for providing sexual health services to under 16s?