It's all go - just as it should be
As Glasgow's health development officer, most of my days begin by checking emails, but it varies. I haven't had two days the same since I took the job in July 2003.
My week is split between St Mungo's and Whitehill New Learning Communities, based in two secondaries in the city's east end. The NLCs consist of seven under-fives establishments, nine primaries and two secondaries, with links to all the local health and voluntary organisations. I work with them all, so email is the best way to stay in touch. But I still meet groups every day.
I was in the first roll-out of health development officers in new learning communities, appointed to oversee health development via schools in Bridgeton and Dennistoun, Glasgow. My role is strategic, rather than about delivery. I focus on national priorities for health in schools at a local level.
Health promotion always comes from needs assessment, so I began by auditing health promotion across the NLCs and set up health steering groups for each. Then priority areas were identified from the audits, which formed the basis of the NLC health development plan. The steering groups ensure that the relevant agencies are involved and that all the work is monitored and evaluated.
One priority was to set up a series of workshops on nutrition, physical activity and parenting skills. Another is to review drug and alcohol education for S1 to S6. I'm also working on a nutrition initiative with pupils and parents in St Mungo's NLC. At one primary in the Whitehill NLC, I work with the school board and Glasgow City Council's school travel-plan team to assess travel arrangements.
Today I am working at St Mungos' Academy. I met with its pupil council to discuss the school nurse drop-in services. Pupil councils are a great way to consult with students.
Later, I went off to the offices of the Greater Glasgow NHS board to return the resources I was reviewing for World Aids Day. I wanted to see if they could fit in with the curriculum. Then I had a meeting with the senior health promotion officer in charge of physical activity about a pilot project at St Mungo's to make students aware of the risks of inactivity.
After that, it was back to St Mungo's to meet the health education co-ordinator. We met with the consultant who is doing the drug and alcohol review. That took me up to 3.35pm, when school finishes.
But before I leave at 4.45pm, I must finish an extensive new training programme for teachers in my areas, from pre-school to secondary, so that the information can be distributed to staff, and there are some materials to put together for parents at Whitehill NLC primaries to advertise the workshops. Finally, one of my schools is about to have a quality assurance review, so I have to pull together all my evidence that the school is delivering on health education and promotion.