THIS week our Health Matters column looks at a day in the life of School Nurse, Sue Barratt

EVER wondered what it's like to be a school nurse?

We're giving you the insider's view of an entire day walking in the shoes of Sue Barratt, a local school nurse.

A Wirral resident with over 20 years' experience, Sue joined Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust two years ago and is the school nurse deputy team leader in the Wallasey Team.

School nurses are a vital part of school life, both primary and secondary, providing support to children, young people and their families on a wide range of issues.

It's a lot of ground to cover and Sue's enthusiasm and passion for her work helps get the job done.

She said: "I love my job and think very dearly about the children and families that I work with.

"I truly believe the future of our community lies in the hands of our young people.

"I really enjoy supporting young people and hoping to make a difference in their lives.

"I am particularly keen to support vulnerable families, especially in times of great stress.

"I find that often the school nurse is in a unique position to offer a helping hand."

The role of a school nurse is varied and can be hectic, with visits to schools, running clinics and going to meetings.

After a quick early morning brew, Sue’s day starts at 8.30am and she's straight into a school.

She meets with key members of staff including youth workers who together with Sue’s help, make sure the right support is being delivered for the individual needs of children and their families.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a key topic and Sue hosts weekly drop-in sessions at her secondary schools for young people to talk about health concerns.

Sue talks to children about the health promotion activities available and provides advice and support on stopping smoking, eating well and exercising more.

Sue spends time every week in two primary schools, delivering health promotion sessions and helping prepare students in year five and six for their move to high school.

She also works closely with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and safeguarding lead at her primary schools, offering drop-in support ses- sions for parents who need that extra bit of help.

If you feel your child needs to use the School Nursing Service you can call the service directly using the number 0151 514 0219.