The Public Health Nursing Service (PHNS) offers support to children, young people and their families across all schools in Canterbury with nurses based at some rural facilities.
Our philosophy of care is centred around The Rights of Every Child (PDF, 2MB)
Our service aspires to promote and protect the rights of children and young people. If you want more details about the rights of children and young people in healthcare please read the Charter on the Rights of Tamariki Children & Rangatahi Young People in Healthcare Services in Aotearoa (PDF, 3MB)
What We Do
The Public Health Nursing service is staffed by Registered Nurses and a support team of administration staff. The main PHN Service is based at Burwood Hospital Campus. There are also Public Health Nurses based at rural hospitals – Ashburton, Lincoln, Rangiora and Kaikoura.
Public health nurses:
Contact Telephone Numbers
B4 School Checks are a Ministry of Health funded check offered as part of the Well Child Tamariki Ora Schedule.
It is offered free of charge to all children aged 4 years and can be completed up until the child turns 5 years. The Public Health Nursing Service offers this check to children enrolled with nominated General practices who do not provide the check at their practice.
If you have not been contacted to have the check please contact your General Practice in the first instance and if you are informed that they have nominated our service to do the check please contact us on 027 458 0401
Alternatively you can contact the B4 School Check Coordination Centre on 0800 247 212
All pregnant women should be assessed by their lead maternity carer; including midwives, general practitioners, practice nurses and obstetricians, as to the risk of Tuberculosis (TB) for their baby.
A child under the age of 5 years will be eligible for the BCG vaccine if he/she:
If one or more of these questions is answered with YES, then this baby is at increased risk of being exposed to TB. This baby needs to be referred to the BCG Vaccination Clinic. Please see the links below for Referral Form and a list of countries with TB rates of > 40 per 100,000. The Ministry of Health have currently set the threshold for children 12 months and younger, with some exceptions for children who are travelling to countries with high incidence of Tuberculosis.
BCG Vaccination is free to all eligible children.
Vaccination before 6 months old is strongly recommended as after 6 months of age a Mantoux test is required prior to vaccination to eliminate any possible exposure to TB.
The list of countries which currently have a high incidence of TB ( > 40 per 100,000) is attached.
TB BCG List of Countries plus Information (PDF, 200KB)
Please print the Referral Form linked below and scan and email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BCG Vaccination Referral Form (PDF, 100KB)
Phone: 03 383 6863
HealthEd Website - Parent information on BCG vaccine
Ministry of Health - Tuberculosis Vaccine Information
The Public Health Nursing Service (PHNS) provides a school based vaccination programme for Year 8 girls and boys who have not completed the vaccinations at a General Practice.
There are two vaccinations offered:
For further information go to www.health.govt.nz or www.immune.org.nz
Each school has an allocated Public Health Nurse (PHN) who will make regular contact with the school offering support, referral management, and liaison with other providers along with providing student health clinics in nominated schools.
GPs are able to refer via ERMS.
Instructions for using writeable version referral form:
The Vision Hearing Service sits alongside the Public Health Nursing Service. It is staffed by qualified Vision Hearing Technicians (VHTs) and administration.
This is a mobile vision and hearing screening service that is provided free to all children across the Canterbury DHB area and offered in Early Childhood Education Centres (ECEC) and schools.
The VHTs have a list of Early Childhood Education Centre and schools allocated to each person. They regularly visit these sites and undertake routine screening of children and follow up on referrals and requests from parents/caregivers/general practitioners.
The first routine screening occurs at 4 years as part of the B4 School check. This includes a vision screen and an audiometry/hearing test and generally takes place at the child's Early Childhood Education Centre. If a child misses the screen at 4 years they are followed up at school entry.
The next routine screen occurs at Year 7 (around 11 years of age). This is a vision screen for boys and girls.
Vision Hearing Service contact details:
Phone (03) 383 9498
Fax (03) 383 9494
School concerns can also be discussed with the Public Health Nurse who visits the school.
The Public Health Nursing service supports the delivery of Well Child Service Tamariki Ora services in the Kaikoura and Banks Peninsula areas.
This service offers support for new families with core visits and additional services as identified. These visits may occur in the home or at clinics.
Well Child referrals can be faxed to the following offices:
My Goal Chart (PDF, 120KB)
Managing Head Lice/Kutu (PDF, 250KB)
Good Bladder and Bowel Habits in Children (PDF, 400KB)
Continence Toolkit Everyday goals for healthy kids (PDF, 200KB)
2 week Bowel Diary with Modified Bristol Stool Chart (PDF, 100KB) | 2-week-Bowel-Diary-with-Modified-Bristol-Stool-Chart (DOCX, 200KB)
Page last updated: 25 May 2023
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