Staffordshire secondary schools partner with NHS to pilot new project

Two Staffordshire secondary schools have teamed up with the NHS to encourage their students to make healthier lifestyle choices.

The Whole Population Health project is being piloted at Thistley Hough Academy and The Hart School, in partnership with the University Hospitals of the North Midlands NHS trust, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS trust and the North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS trust.

The sessions will look at several key health issues including hydration, sleep and oral hygiene

As part of the project, students in years 7 to 10 will take part in sessions on oral hygiene and the effects of smoking and sugary drinks. There are also plans to have a dentist visit once a month so students who are not registered with a practice can have regular check-ups.

“The sessions will look at several key health issues including hydration, sleep and oral hygiene,” said Caty Reid, vice-principal at Thistley Hough. “These have been carefully chosen as small changes in lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of developing significant and potentially life-threatening illnesses in later life.”

The NHS hopes to roll out the programme, which is funded jointly between it, the participating schools and Stoke-on-Trent city council’s public health team, to other schools after the two-year pilot is complete.

“At the start, students completed a health questionnaire and we will ask students to complete this again at the end, so we can evaluate how effective it has been,” added Ian Carruthers, the head of widening participation at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS trust.