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Waikato School Clinics

Pinnacle is funded by Waikato DHB to provide two types of school based health services (SBHS).

  • GPs in decile 1-5 secondary schools across the Waikato. 
  • Registered nurses in decile 1-4 secondary schools, wharekura, teen parent units (TPU) and alternative education programmes (AE) across the Waikato.

The overarching goal of both funding streams is to remove barriers for youth in accessing timely healthcare by placing youth friendly clinicians into eligible schools, free of charge. We currently have 35 school clinics across the Waikato - 10 with a GP only, 5 with a nurse only and 20 with both a GP and nurse.

The GP in schools funding stream has been in place since 2003 and has three main objectives 

  • To reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections. 
  • To reduce the incidence of unplanned pregnancies. 
  • To encourage youth to access the health system post school.

In 2009, funding to progressively open nurse lead clinics in schools was rolled out, originally in decile 1-2 schools, and from 2013-2014 the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project extended funding to open nurse lead clinics in decile 3 schools. 

From 2019 funding has been increased to open nurse clinics in decile 4 schools. 

The three main goals of nurse lead school clinics

  • To conduct HEADDSS (psycho-social assessments on all year 9 students). 
  • 1-1 patient care. 
  • Health promotion.

The Waikato school nurse team has a vision of safe, healthy, vibrant rangatahi/youth. Our team's mission is to improve youth health outcomes through placing rangatahi/young people at the center of their healthcare journey and to reduce youth suicide in Waikato. 

We have set five goals to help the team achieve our vision and mission

  • Removing barriers to accessing primary health care.
  • Increase health literacy and independence.
  • Breaking the cycle of violence and protecting the right person.
  • Reduce risk taking behaviors and mitigate concerns.
  • Celebrating successes.

For more information 

For more information about the Waikato school based clinics contact Melissa Davidson, youth health lead:, 021 817 779.

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