How can I help address inequalities and support childhood immunisations and screening? 3 - 5 years

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Key messages for parents, grandparents and other care-givers

Parents and other primary caregivers are key to ensuring children are properly screened and immunised.

The following messages can be used to help motivate parents:

  • Being routinely immunised helps protects children from illness and disease.
  • To be protected, it is important that children receive all of their routine immunisations.
  • Immunising each child helps protect other children by stopping the spread of dangerous diseases.
  • All immunisations delivered by the NHS in Scotland are proven to be safe and effective.

Parent information on childhood immunisations (external links):

Immunisation Scotland website

A guide to childhood immunisations up to 5 years of age

Please also see below for further resources.

Pre-school staff and childminders

Pre-school school staff and childminders should:

  • use the 'key messages' listed above to motivate parents to have their child immunised
  • display relevant posters for ongoing and any seasonal or 'catch-up' immunisation campaigns - for the latest updates visit Immunisation Scotland (external site).

Please also see below for further resources.

Teachers

Teachers should:

  • highlight the importance of eyesight and hearing tests in making sure their child gets appropriate assistance so they can get most out of their school education
  • use the key messages listed above to motivate parents to have their child immunised
  • display relevant posters for ongoing and any seasonal or 'catch-up' immunisation campaigns (e.g. whooping cough (2012)) - for the latest updates visit Immunisation Scotland (external site).

GPs, health visitors

GPs and health visitors are ideally placed to develop trusting, respectful communicative relationships with parents of the type research has shown they most value.

  • If you have not already done so, complete the eLearning module Promoting Effective Immunisation Practice (external link).
  • Routinely ask parents about the immunisation status of their children.
  • Check hand-held notes and other records for evidence of immunisations and screening tests.
  • Be prepared to take the time to answer questions and discuss issues around immunisation and screening.
  • Be sensitive to barriers to accessing services - e.g. timing and location of clinics - and offer help to facilitate access.
  • Observe good 'Inclusive Communication Practice' as set out in Principles of Inclusive Communication - A self-assessment tool for public authorities.
  • Use the 'Teach-Back Technique' to help ensure important information has been adequately understood: Teach-Back Technique Postcard (Download PDF - 360kb).
  • Ensure that fathers are equally consulted and informed in matters concerning the health and wellbeing of their children (except where precluded by child protection concerns).

Service managers and commissioners

Service managers and commissioners can help by:

  • ensuring all staff involved in immunisation programmes complete the eLearning module Promoting Effective Immunisation Practice (external link)
  • ensuring adequate information systems are in place to provide accurate recording of immunisations and screening tests
  • ensuring that staff working with parents and their children have the knowledge and time to discuss issues around immunisation and screening with parents
  • addressing potential barriers to accessing services - e.g. timing and location of clinics, language and communication issues
  • displaying relevant posters for ongoing and any seasonal or 'catch-up' immunisation campaigns (e.g. for seasonal flu or whooping cough (2012)) - for the latest updates visit Immunisation Scotland (external site).

Social workers, voluntary sector workers and managers

Social workers and voluntary sector workers and agencies can:

  • ask parents about the immunisation status of children
  • use the 'key messages' listed above to motivate parents to have their child immunised
  • offer help and support to access services
  • display relevant posters for ongoing and any seasonal or 'catch-up' immunisation campaigns (e.g. for whooping cough (2012)) - for the latest updates visit Immunisation Scotland (external site).

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You may also be interested in

  • External Resource

    Meningitis Association of Scotland

    Meningitis Association of Scotland provides support and information to families affected by Meningitis. The charity also funds research in Scotland and in other countries.

    • When was this published? 8/17/2010