The two main ways to prevent the spread of diseases and infections are hand washing, closely followed by immunisation. Immunisations are estimated to save between two and three million deaths each year around the world.
The trust’s immunisations team deliver the school-aged immunisations programme across south London.
The role of the nurse is predominantly focussed on health promotion and the prevention of the spread of illness of disease through immunisation. The immunisations team is involved in educating, advising and promoting immunisations.
The team attends schools across the borough to administer the planned vaccinations. The team of nurses regularly attend schools to administer vaccines, as directed by the National Childhood Immunisations Programme.
The information on the immunisations tab describes the national programme and vaccinations your child will be offered to protect them against certain illnesses and disease.
The nurses will be able to support and provide advice on the various immunisations advised for children of different ages and will also be able to direct you to further information for you and your child to make an informed choice about the planned vaccination.
Information regarding the immunisations is always shared with the parent /guardian and in age appropriate terms that a child can understand. In secondary schools, the nurse offers to attend the school to give a talk on the planned vaccines.
Consent for immunisations
Consent must be obtained before starting any patient care - this includes the administration of vaccines. The HRCH Immunisation team want the parents or legal guardian to be involved in their son or daughters care by discussing the vaccinations with them and by returning a signed vaccination form.
Vaccine information and consent forms are sent out from the schools on multiple occasions as are parent mail reminders. In addition, we ask for reminders and PowerPoint information about the vaccine to be shown to the young people in school assembly or tutor time. However, we do acknowledge that despite our best efforts forms do not always reach home and addresses, emails or mobile numbers change which results in information not being received by the families.
Our ultimate aim is to prevent these young people getting vaccine preventable diseases. Therefore, on the day of the immunisations we invite all those that have consented to have the vaccine AND those who have not yet returned a form to attend the session. This is so we can discuss the vaccine with the young person and to attempt to contact their parent or legal guardian.
However, in the absence of a signed consent form and being unable to contact the parent we will assess the young person for self-consent. Not all young people will be competent; it is assessed on an individual basis by an immunisation nurse. The final decision to consent or refuse vaccination is the young person’s choice - we will not give a vaccination where it is not wanted by the young person.
To assess the young person’s ability to self-consent for the vaccine we use the Gillick Competence guidelines which are defined below but can also be found online at:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment (opens in a new window)
Voluntary – the decision to either consent or not to consent to treatment must be made by the person themselves, and must not be influenced by pressure from medical staff, friends or family
Informed – the person must be given all of the information in terms of what the treatment involves, including the benefits and risks, whether there are reasonable alternative treatments, and what will happen if treatment doesn't go ahead
Capacity – the person must be capable of giving consent, which means they understand the information given to them and they can use it to make an informed decision
Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they're believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what's involved in their treatment.
What happens after vaccinations?
After the vaccination is administered, your child will be given an information leaflet about any potential side effects - to take home for the parent. They may also be given a card for the parent to retain the information in the child/young person’s health record (red) book.
Within a couple of weeks your GP should also have the details of the vaccination given unless you specifically request us not to inform them.
We keep information of vaccinations given in school. If you or your child requires a copy you child or yourself can request this.
School-aged immunisations is a mobile service