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Chat Health

Service overview

Chat Health is a text service enabling young people at secondary school to reach out to our school nurse team to ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment with one of our school nurse confidentially. The service is for anyone aged 11-19 at secondary school looking for confidential advice on a wide range of issues such as bullying, emotional health and wellbeing, sexual health as well as illnesses. The service is available Surrey-wide.

Through Chat Health, we can also link young people into other local services including emotional support or sexual health services.

Chat health works because it is:

  • Confidential
  • Quick and easy
  • Anonymous
  • Non-judgemental

Young people using the service tell is it is a less embarrassing to ask for health advice on personal issues by text than in person or over the phone.

How Chat Health works

Our school nursing team responds to texts within one working day.

Chat Health operates Monday to Friday 9am – 5.00pm (excluding bank holidays). Out of these opening times, anyone who texts Chat Health will receive an automated message with advice on where to get help if their question is urgent.

The Chat Health text number is: 07507 329 951

Chat Health runs alongside our normal school nursing service. Young people can continue to contact their school nurse in person or by telephone.

Disclaimer

“We do not usually inform your parents, teachers or anyone else if you contact the school nurse. We might inform someone if we were concerned about your safety, but we would usually speak to you first. Your messages are stored and can be seen by other healthcare staff who follow the same confidentiality rules. We aim to reply to you within one working day and you should get an immediate bounce-back to confirm we received your text. Texts will not be seen outside of normal working hours. If you need help before you hear back from us, contact a member of school staff or your doctor. Our text number does not receive voice calls or MMS picture messages. We support messaging from UK mobile numbers only (which does not include messages sent from landlines, international mobile numbers and some 'number masking' mobile apps). Prevent the school nurse from sending messages to you by texting STOP to our number. Please respect your schools mobile phone policy. Messages are charged at your usual rate."

National Recognition

This service has been highly acclaimed by the Department of Health which encourages the use of mobile and social media to improve access to healthcare - particularly for young people. Chat Health has been awarded an Innovation Challenge Prize from NHS England and multiple other awards for innovative use of communication in healthcare and improving patient experiences.