Managing increased D&V and flu-like illness in schools
As you will be aware, we have seen substantial increases in reports of D&V and flu-like illness in schools across Yorkshire and Humber and although the types of illness being reported are not unusual, illness seems to have started earlier and at a greater
rate than in previous years.
The Health Protection Team has been providing infection control and exclusion advice to schools on an individual school basis but, given the unprecedented levels of calls, it is now considered necessary to change our ways of working to ensure that we can
continue to deliver a safe health protection service across all aspects of our work.
We know that other parts of the health and education systems, including your public health teams, have been receiving a large number of calls too, so hope that the following proposed approach will help all concerned:
- Advice on reporting by schools
We will now ask schools to report illness to us only by exception (i.e. if they are aware of severe illness, if the school is attended by high numbers of children with underlying health conditions (or special needs) or there are unprecedented levels of parental
concerns not addressed by routine measures). We will respond to such reports in the usual way and will inform you/your public health teams as required.
- Advice to schools and parents
We have developed an advice sheet for schools about managing illness and a general information leaflet that schools can share with parents and staff
We would be grateful if you could arrange for this to be shared with all schools in your area as soon as possible
- Update to the PH and wider system
Please also share this information with
- Your public health teams so that they are informed of our approach and able to respond directly to any queries about it that they may receive.
- Other relevant teams in the local authority
We are aware that some Health & Safety teams have been communicating with schools about managing illness
- 0-19 teams including school nurses
We will, of course, continue to update you about any issues that are of concern and hope that by modifying our ways of working at this very busy time we can continue to deliver a safe health protection service for the region.