Desmond, Daisy and Wendy used in Wirral Schools

NHS Wirral have worked in partnership with school leaders to develop ‘Health Services in Schools’ (HSIS) and ensure it is available to all secondary schools, including Special Schools in Wirral. It has purposefully been linked to Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and aims to provide a service that supports and nurtures pupil well being and promotes a positive lifestyle. HSIS also aims to provide a safe and confidential environment for all pupils to discuss with a trained professional anything affecting them which may impact on academic performance and general well-being.

Pupils with LDD or physical disabilities often have limited access to such services, so NHS Wirral aimed to ensure HSIS was accessible to them. In consultation with the RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) lead and specialists in this field NHS Wirral invested in resources to promote high quality PSHE, including SRE, which would explicitly link education to services. Desmond and Daisy models were purchased and there is now a rolling programme of training for HSIS and school staff to use these for both formal and informal PSHE work in groups and one-to-one sessions.

Lessons in class will cover how to access HSIS and other services through role play using Desmond and Daisy. Pupils will be involved in using the models in class, getting to know how to use them as a distancing technique if they wish to communicate with professionals in HSIS. The models will sit in the HSIS drop-in space which the pupils will visit as part of their PSHE.

They will be used as an integral part of age appropriate RSE with these pupils for communication, negotiation and decision making skills as well as the physical aspects of puberty and sex.

Wendy models were also purchased to be used by nurses in HSIS to explain the physical elements of SRE, including periods and contraception, with individual and small groups of pupils.

Special Primary schools were also given Desmond and Daisy to enhance their PSHE and promote a good transition from primary PSHE to secondary PSHE. These schools have been extremely creative with the models, taking photographs of them and using these in their own story books which depict consequences of risk taking behaviour and promote discussions in PSHE and other subjects. They sit in assembly and are often used to illustrate important issues to the pupils.

Evaluations of these resources have been extremely positive by all involved. NHS Wirral will continue to evaluate this work to ensure HSIS remains accessible to all pupils and that good quality, appropriate and relevant RSE is promoted for all pupils.

Using the Wendy model in a therapeutic session

The ‘Wendy’ model has been used within group and individual counselling sessions to help women with some form of sexual dysfunction. The therapist can use the model to describe different parts of the human anatomy – both the external genitalia and the 3D internal reproductive organs – and to de-mystify what for some may be not only a hidden but also an embarrassing part of their anatomy. Examining the model enables women to have a better understanding of the sexual response cycle and a clearer grasp of any therapeutic techniques they may be advised to try.

This is the response of one such user.

“The model has been an absolutely brilliant tool, it was very useful in the group session last week and now that we have started the individual therapy sessions our therapist has been able to use it to demonstrate, which is great. I was very impressed by the quality of the model and I think your quest to make the first realistic model and all the work you have put into it is incredibly commendable!”