The Medical Centre is based on the school site and has a team of 8 registered and experienced school nurses and 1 health-care assistant who look after all the pupils' medical and emotional needs. During term time, there is always a nurse on duty day and night, and during morning surgery, there are always two nurses present.
We have access to a doctor's service day and night. From a medical point of view, the nurse on duty assesses each pupil on visiting the medical centre and implements the necessary treatment. The medical centre is well equipped to treat first aid and minor ailments. If further treatment is necessary, the nurse is able to consult the GP and organise transportation to the hospital or minor injury unit. All treatment administered is treated in strict confidence and recorded. Parents are kept informed when appropriate.
I would like to express just how amazing the Felsted medical centre is - almost otherworldly. Doctor appointments are made on the same day, consultant referrals within a week. They are fast, efficient and really care about what they are doing, which is so reassuring as an overseas parent. Most of us are unable to get an appointment with our GP in the same month!
Any child over the age of 16 is able to consent for their own treatment. Children under the age of 16, who fully understand their treatment and are mature, can give their own consent to treatment. The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under the age of 16 is as great as that owed to any other person. The nurses do encourage the pupils to inform their parents and keep them up to date. Nurses endeavour to inform parents as well when appropriate. Having said this, the law on confidentiality is clear. Nurses will ask parents to consent to immunisations necessary for travel and to complete the childhood immunisation programme.
Health assessments are completed on all new pupils as soon as possible. This provides us with an opportunity to meet the pupil and allow us to explain about the service we provide.
We then carry out a basic examination of height, weight, blood pressure, sight and hearing. All health issues are discussed with the pupil and parents are informed. Full time boarders have a medical with the appropriate GP.
The smooth running of the medical centre is dependent on good communication between the pupil, home and school. All personal information is treated in the strictest confidence and we rely on parents to inform us of any changes that occur during the holidays - from vaccinations to sport injuries.
We tend to use Broomfield Hospital (NHS) as our main referral source and Springfield Hospital for private referrals. The Herts and Essex minor injury unit is also accessible. When referrals are organised we sometimes have access to voluntary drivers but always encourage parental support for the pupil. Referrals can also be organised nearer home if appropriate.
Routine dentistry is not available locally but in an emergency, there is access to a dentist in Chelmsford. Most children see their own dentists during the school holidays and we strongly advise that this be the norm.
The Medical Centre, Felsted School, Dunmow, Essex, CM6 3LL
Tel: 01371 822791
Fax: 01371 822792
If I was in charge of the NHS I would make Felsted Medical Centre the model for all surgeries in the UK, and I speak as someone who has grown up in a family of medics, and having worked in the NHS for 25 years myself!