Testing at Teddies
Pupil Wellbeing and the Medical Centre
The Medical Centre is an integral part of the School, and particularly now, has an extended role to play as regular testing has become part of its remit. The communications team caught up with Senior Nurse Manager, Lisa More O’Ferrall, to find out more.
What is the main job of the Medical Centre?
We provide medical support for all pupils – both physical and mental. This includes day pupils as well as boarders, and we extend this to all members of the Teddies community including staff. We try and stay on the front foot and focus on preventative medicine, education and proactivity as much as we can.
One key feature of our operations is our House link nurses. Each Boarding House has an allocated Nurse and that allows us to take what we do in the Medical centre into the environment where our pupils live. By doing this, we are able to see the pupils when they are well, as well as when they need our specific services.
How many are in your team?
We have a very large team that work a combination of full and part-time hours. We have 10 nurses, 3 administrators and 2 accompanying adults – who are worth their weight in gold – they accompany children to appointments etc out of school. We are also heavily supported by our brilliant Matrons.
We are also supported by the Summertown Health Centre where our boarding pupils are registered. We have three principle GP’s who share the role of covering the service to Teddies: Matthew Cheetham, Lynsey Bennett who is also the DSL for Summertown and Dave Triffitt. The GP’s currently run two GP clinics per week. They are also available at the practice should a pupil need to be seen out of those clinic times.
How is testing working?
We, like all other schools, were given a mandate to test from the government very late in the day. We came up with our own action plan on how to go about this, and it has gone very well so far with two full days where we were able to process 285 tests. We are lucky that we have such a big clinical team and are therefore able to work at relative speed, because the testing is quite an involved process.
Each member of staff is allocated a specific number, and they keep that unique number that is recorded every time they are tested in the future. This will be the same for pupils.
Once the sample is taken, the test must then be processed, which involves mixing the sample with a buffer – so we’re a bit like a laboratory. The timing is then key – the test must be read in 15 minutes, so monitoring the timing is a key part of the process. We got into a good rhythm and were able to be very efficient.
How will testing work going forward?
Staff that are that in school and on site will be tested weekly, either on a Monday or Tuesday. All boarders that are currently at school will also be tested weekly. The testing will be run from our isolation unit. We feel confident about how we are operating at the moment. It’s hard to say what will come down the line from now, but we are as well prepared as we can be.
What other services are the Medical team currently providing?
We are very much open for ongoing emotional care for pupils and anyone else that might need it. Our Counsellors continue to be available over video conferencing, as are our Matrons, who are a very critical part of our pastoral care. We will continue to liaise with HMs and the Safeguarding team as necessary.