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Bradford District Achievement Partnership – Special Needs School Nursing

Bradford District Achievement Partnership (DAP) is the partnership of eight special schools in Bradford. In 2016/17, the DAP set out on a programme of work to improve the delivery of nursing services within the district’s special schools.

ESC’s objectives were to;

  • Apply health service expertise to the specialist eduction setting and develop a structured programme of improvement.
  • Work with locality partner organisations including NHS commissioners and providers and the local authority to ensure  multi-agency ‘buy in’ and shared vision.
  • Ensure service improvements were able to respond to increasing complexity of healthcare need within the sector.

What ESC did

  • Led and supported a three phase programme of work.
  • Phase one – completed a baseline assessment, identified local issues, explored best practice models regionally and nationally and reviewed legislative framework.
  • Phase two – established and supported a multi-agency special needs school nursing task and finish group and cultivated links with national key opinion leaders.
  • Phase three – worked with DAP school senior leaders and care teams/managers and the NHS school nursing service to develop and implement a range of service improvements including an annual nursing needs assessment, delegated activity framework and incident and risk management protocols. Supported and co-ordinated national level work including a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) endorsed project and engagement with NICE.


  • Robust arrangements in place to ensure consistent high quality, safe nursing interventions for the children and young people attending Bradford’s special schools.
  • Secured an additional CCG commissioning investment into the Special Needs School Nursing Service of £150K commenced in 2018/19.
  • Framework in place to manage and learn from incidents to ensure continuous quality improvements.
  • A Bradford DAP Nursing Provision in Specialist Schools Project which was supported by the RCN and featured in the 2020 RCN guidance “Futureproofing Community Children’s Nursing”.
  • NICE guidance for children and young people up to 25 with severe complex needs expanded from proposed scope of ‘health and care’ to include the education sector.
  • Bradford DAP recognised nationally as an area of best practice for the provision of nursing services in specialist settings.