Whanganui's B4 School Check service exceeds expectations

29 August 2013

Whanganui Regional Health Network B4 School Check facilitator Janine Spence carrying out a B4 School Check.
Whanganui’s B4 School Check (B4SC) service has achieved a 110 percent completion rate for the 2012/13 year against the 80 percent target for eligible children set by the Government for that period.
Under the B4SC service, as it is known, every child between the age of four and five receives a comprehensive health assessment conducted by their practice nurse or the outreach team of specially trained nurses managed by Whanganui Regional Health Network B4 School Check facilitator Janine Spence.
In the 2012/13 year the Ministry of Health’s target of 80 percent of eligible children was surpassed in the WDHB district by 8 percent. Mrs Spence said Maori, Pacific and European children were evenly accessing the check throughout this period.
A new target of 90 percent has now been set and Mrs Spence is urging all parents and caregivers of four-year-olds to complete this check in order to ensure their child is ready to learn once they start school.
Meanwhile, WDHB B4SC portfolio manager Jon Buchan said B4 School Checks provide parents, whanau and caregivers with the opportunity to ensure any health concerns their child may have, are identified and actioned before the child starts school.
“The idea behind the service is to ensure children have the best possible start to their school education with any health and development barriers to learning identified and supported,” Mr Buchan says.
“If for example, a child is found to have a hearing difficulty which could impact on their learning, they will be referred to an appropriate specialist. B4 school checks cover vision, hearing, growth, dental, weight, immunisations, speech among others.”
Mrs Spence is happy to discuss any questions people may have about the checks. She can be contacted on 0800 775 001 or (06) 348 0109.