Chevening CE (Aided) Primary School
Policy on Medicines in School (including their administration and safekeeping)
This policy was reviewed: Spring 2009 Governor Approval: 27 January 2009 Review Date: Spring 2010 The policy is given to all parents when their child starts school, copies are sent out at intervals, to remind parents of this school policy and a copy is kept in the Head teacher’s office for inspection at any time. The policy is reviewed regularly, in line with the School Plan and with reference to the DfES’ guidelines. Legal Requirements Chevening CEP School follows the DfES guidance in supporting pupils with medical needs. However, it must be emphasised that primary responsibility for a child’s health rests with the parents/guardians. There is no responsibility which requires staff to administer medication. However, many staff are prepared to act in “loco parentis” in an emergency. In an extreme case, this may necessitate calling an ambulance before contacting a parent or trained staff. Used Epi pens need to go into a ‘sharps box’ (safe box) following use and sent along with the child to the hospital. Exchange of Information Parents as the child’s main carer, have a responsibility to provide the school with sufficient information about their child’s medical condition, treatment and/or special care needed at school. This should be done immediately prior to entry to school. If medical treatment becomes necessary after admission, parents must inform the school immediately. They must also notify the school of any changes to medication and supply medicines in the original container, with the dispenser’s label and current directions on. Parents must inform the school of any medicines which children are allergic to and a contact person in case of emergencies. A general consent form should be filled in on entry to school e.g. 1) I/We accept that members of staff will act in loco parentis if necessary. 2) My/our child may be given an anaesthetic by a medical practitioner. General Administration of Medicines It is recognised that children themselves have a role to play. In some cases, it is appropriate for them to be involved in taking responsibility for their own health care (e.g. asthma sufferers). A parental consent form should be completed. Some medicines (e.g. ventolin) need to be keep in school all of the time. It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility to ensure that an adequate supply is available, that clear directions are on the label, with type, child’s name and dosage. The medication must be in date and is collected at the end of each term and renewed at the beginning of the next. For the purposes of independence, asthma inhalers are kept in a place accessible to children requiring them.
The school is prepared to administer prescription medicines only when absolutely necessary (children who are obviously unwell should be kept at home) and upon receipt of the appropriate form, or in the case of short-term administration. a)
A signed letter of authority and instruction (to be displayed in the office) showing required
A signed disclaimer from parent/guardian;
should be completed. The remainder of a course of antibiotics, only if it is to be administered four times daily, may be administered. This should be supplied as a single dose only, if at all possible. Staff cannot guarantee that children will receive their medication at an exact time. The school is not prepared to administer: -
antibiotics that need to be administered three times a day, (as doctors are generally happy that the child is given this before school, after school and before going to bed); or
Records of medicines Records of medicines dispensed are kept by the member of staff responsible. It is good practice for the dosage and administration to be witnessed by a second adult – although this is not always practical. Emergency Procedures Injections may only be given by an appropriate medical practitioner (doctor), or someone specifically trained and authorised by a doctor or nurse. Usually only staff trained in certain procedures (such as administrating adrenaline), should do so. However other staff may do what a parent in the same situation would reasonably be expected to do (e.g. in order to save life), acting in loco parentis. Circumstances requiring an ambulance All staff should know how to call the emergency services. All staff are responsible for carrying out emergency procedures in the event of need. A pupil taken to hospital by ambulance should be accompanied by a member of staff, who will stay with them until the parent/guardian arrives. Staff should only take children to hospital in their own car in an emergency. They should be accompanied by another member of staff and have public liability insurance. Safety and Storage Medicines will be kept in the staff room (if they need refrigeration, i.e. antibiotics) or the secretary’s office. They should be provided in a single dose as this will help to ensure that no-one taking it either in error or intentionally will be causing harm to themselves or others. Any out of date/discontinued medicines will be returned to parents. Children should not carry any medicines to school, except asthma inhalers. All medication is kept in either a labelled bag or box for each child that requires it. A ‘sharp’ box is now used to take any used ‘sharps’ with the child to the hospital.
Non-prescription medicines will not be administered. Only in extreme cases should cough sweets be brought in. The Class Teacher should administer these. Parents should send in a note of authority. School Educational Visits Medicines taken on educational visits will normally be the responsibility of the teacher in charge. Parents will be required to fill in a consent form for the administration of anaesthetic by a medical practitioner, should be need arise. Arrangements for Children giving Particular Cause for Alarm If a child has a special medical condition which could require emergency intervention (e.g. anaphylaxis, epilepsy, diabetes) the appropriate people (school staff, parents, medical professionals) should agree the following at the outset: -
what emergency situation could arise (indicate possible symptoms)
what action would be needed (include strategies to avoid emergencies happening, e.g. eating certain foods)
what staff could be permitted to do (School Nursing Officer to advise)
which staff would be prepared to give assistance themselves
what untrained staff should do (i.e. call a colleague)
arrangements for school visits and special activities (e.g. swimming)
how and when parents/guardians/emergency contacts should be notified
Examples of the necessary forms can be found in the DfES’ “Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Setting” (March 2005). They include: Form 1.
Parental agreement for school/setting to administer medicine;
Parental agreement for school/setting to administer medicine;
Head teacher/Head of Setting agreement for administer medicine;
Record of medicine administered to an individual child;
Record of medicines administered to all children;
Request for child to carry his/her own medicine;
Staff training record – administration of medicines;
Authorisation for the administration of rectal diazepam.
Reference: “Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs” DfES; “Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings” DfES (March 2005)
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