The main health contact for schools is likely to be a school nurse. The school health service can provide guidance on medical conditions, including sickle cell anaemia; help schools draw up individual health care plans for pupils with medical needs; supplement and augment information provided by parents and the child's general practitioner; and advise on training for school staff in administering medicines and in taking responsibility for other aspects of support.
The Department has funded the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening programme to develop materials for public information (including information on screening, carrier status and a parents’ handbook on children with sickle cell disease) and to undertake a number of public outreach projects in areas where there is a high proportion of black and minority ethnic populations who may have difficulties accessing health care services. For the four years, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09, the programme spent a total of more than £2 million. No figures before this are available.
In addition, the Department awarded the Sickle Cell Society a Section 64 grant of £20,000 over two years (2003-04 and 2004-05) for health education. A Third Sector Investment programme project grant of some £258,000 has recently been awarded to the Sickle Cell Society for three years (2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12) for a named National Support Care Advisor for sickle cell disorders.