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Medical and Medicines Policy

Introduction

Most pupils will at some time have a medical condition that may affect their participation in school activities. For many this will be short term. Other children have medicalconditions that, if not properly managed, could limit their access to education. Such pupils are regarded as having medical needs. Most of these children will be able to attend school regularly and take part in normal school activities.

LAs and schools have a responsibility for the health and safety of pupils in their care. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes employers responsible for the health and safety of employees and anyone else on the premises. In the case of pupils with special medical  needs,  the  responsibility  of  the  employer  is  to make sure that safety measures cover the needs of all pupils at the school. This may mean making special arrangements  for  particular  pupils  who  may  be  more at  risk  than their classmates. Individual procedures may be required. The employer is responsible for making sure that relevant staff  know  about  and  are, if  necessary,  trained  to  provide  any  additional  support  these pupils may need.

The Children and Families Act 2014, from September 2014, places a duty on schools to make arrangements for children with medical conditions. Pupils with special medical needs have the same right of admission to school as other children and cannot be refused admission or excluded from school on  medical  grounds alone. However, teachers and other school staff in charge of pupils have a common law duty to act in ‘loco parentis’ and may need to take swift action in an emergency. This duty also extends to teachers leading activities taking place off the school site. This could extend to a need to administer medicine. The prime responsibility for a child’s health lies with the parent who is responsible for the child’s  medication  and  should  supply  the  school  with information.

This policy outlines responsibilities and procedures for supporting pupils at Black Horse Hill Junior School who have medical needs. It can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Parents and guardians

Parents, as defined in the Education Act 1994, are a child’s main carers. They are responsible for making sure that their child is well enough to attend school.

Children should be kept at home when they are acutely unwell.

Parents are responsible for providing the head teacher with sufficient information about their child’s medical condition and treatment or special care needed at school. With the head teacher, they should reach agreement on the school’s role in helping their child’s medical needs.

Parents’ religious and cultural views should always be respected.

Rationale and Aims

A clear policy that is understood and accepted by all staff, parents and children providing a sound basis for ensuring that children with medical needs receive proper care and support in school, and that for such children attendance is as regular as possible.

The policy is to include:

Procedures for managing prescription medicines which need to be taken in the school day.

Procedures for managing prescription medicines on outings and trips.

Roles and responsibilities of staff administering medicines.

A clear statement of parental responsibilities in respect of medicines.

Written permissions from parents for medicines.

Circumstances in which children may take non-prescription medicines.

Assisting children with long term medical needs.

Staff training.

Record keeping.

Safe storage of medicines.

The school’s emergency procedures.

Risk assessment and management procedures.

In all instances the school will do all it can to persuade the parent to come into school to administer medicines.

Prescribed Medicines

i. We will never accept medicines that have been taken out of the container as originally dispensed nor make changes to dosages on parental instructions.

It is helpful when clinically appropriate that medicines are prescribed in dosages that enable it to be taken outside of school hours. We will encourage parents to discuss this with the prescriber.

Prescribers should be encouraged to issue two prescriptions, one for home and one for school, thus avoiding the need for repackaging of medicines.

Controlled drugs should never be administered unless cleared by the Head. Reference should be made to the DfES document Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings 2005.

Non-Prescription Drugs

i. Staff should never give non-prescribed drugs to a child unless there is specific written permission from the parent. This will be an exceptional situation rather than the norm.

ii. A child under 16 should never be given aspirin or medicines containing ibuprofen unless prescribed by a doctor.

Short Term Medical Needs

In order to reduce the time a child is away from school the school will administer medicines, for example the end of a course of antibiotics or apply a lotion, but only for a short course of up to 5 days, and only when previous avoidance strategies have been examined.

Note the exceptional terms in the previous paragraph.

Long Term Medical Needs

The school will be fully informed of the child’s needs before admittance.

It is essential to have sufficient information in order for the child’s medical needs to be adequately supported. (Reference should be made to the 2005 DfES document in order to devise a care plan.)

Administering Medicines

No child under 16 should be given medicines without written parent consent. Medical Care Form 1 must be completed by the parent giving permission for medicine to be administered by staff.

Members of staff giving medicines should check:

The child’s name

Prescribed dose

Expiry date

Written instructions on the packaging

Members of staff giving medicines are staff who are:

Willing to perform such tasks

Trained where necessary for the task

If in doubt then do not administer medicines without checking with the school office staff who will then contact parents or the medical practitioner.

A record must be kept in a written form each time medicines are given.

(Form 2 from the DfES 2005 doc. should be used to record.)

The Original Medical Form 1, completed by the parent should be kept on file in the office. One copy to go to the class teacher, one copy to the first aider in the medical room and placed in the file there.

Self-Management

Children who are able will be encouraged to manage their own medicines. This will generally apply to relief treatments for asthma. Other medicines should be kept in secure storage so access will only be through the school office. The place the medicines are stored is indicated at the bottom of the Medical Form 1.

Record Keeping

Parents should inform the school of the medicines their child needs. School will check that the medicine is in its original container and that the dispenser’s instructions are clear.

A written record of medicines administered will be kept in the school office (Medical Form 2) and this will also be signed by the parents to acknowledge the entry. A copy of consent form 1 will also be kept in the office.

Educational Visits

All medicines required by children on such undertakings will be part of the overall risk assessment for the visit. Medicines not self-managed by pupils will be in the safe care of a nominated member of the support staff. This colleague should be one who is willing to carry this responsibility. Complex medical needs for a specific pupil may necessitate a health plan for the visit. If any member of staff is concerned they should seek advice from the school office.

Sporting Activities

It is advisable to prepare a risk assessment of medical needs of individual children, including those who may suffer from an asthma attack. Asthma relievers not self- managed should be taken to the field in a box or container and be supervised by a support member of staff.

A written record of medicines administered will be kept in the school office (Medical Form 2) and this will also be signed by the parents to acknowledge the entry. A copy of consent form 1 will also be kept in the office.

The Governing Body

The governing body will be made aware of this policy and its role in being generally responsible for all school policies.

The governing body has a duty to ensure that their insurance arrangements provide cover for staff to act within the school of their employment; that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed, and that any necessary training is made available to staff.

The Head Teacher

The Head Teacher will ensure that all staff receive appropriate support and training and aware of this policy. Likewise the Head Teacher will inform the parents of the policy and its implications for them.

The head teacher is responsible for implementing the governing body’s policy in practice and for developing detailed procedures. When teachers volunteer to give pupils help with their medical needs, the head should agree to their doing this, and must ensure that teachers receive proper support and training where necessary.

Day to day decisions about administering medication will normally fall to the head teacher, or there appointed staff member. The head is also responsible for making sure parents are aware of the school’s policy and procedures for dealing with medical needs. The head is responsible for arranging and briefing back-up cover or supply teachers when the member of staff responsible for a pupil with medical needs is absent or unavailable.

In all complex cases the Head Teacher will liaise with the parents and where parent expectation is deemed unreasonable then the Head will seek the advice of the school nurse or some such medical advisor.

Teachers and Other Staff

All staff should be aware of the possible medical risks attached to certain pupils. They should be aware of possible emergency action and emergency contacts.

A full medical register with all pupils’ needs is on display in the staff room, for all staff to see.

An individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) for pupils with severe medical needs is on display in the staffroom for all staff to see.

Teachers’ conditions of employment do not include the giving or supervising of pupils taking medicines. Any support member of staff agreeing to administer prescribed medicines should be in receipt of appropriate training. The training shall be commensurate with the situation.

Other health professionals

The school will receive support and advice as necessary from the following in conjunction with meeting the needs of pupils with medical needs:

the local health authority

the school health service

the school nurse

the general practitioner (with the consent  of the child’s parents)

the community paediatrician

Storing Medicines

i. Medicines should be stored away from children, be in their original containers and refrigerated where necessary. This will be the responsibility of the school office. Children should know where their medicines are kept and who is responsible. This should be an exceptional duty and be only used when medical advice dictates that no other course of action is possible.

Emergency medicines such as asthma inhalers and adrenaline pens should not be kept locked away but always in the vicinity of the relevant pupils. Any problems or issues arising shall be initially referenced to Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings 2005 DfES, a copy of which is kept in the Head teacher’s office.

The areas where all medicines are stored is indicated clearly at the bottom of the Medical Form 1.

Unacceptable Practice

While school staff will use their professional discretion in supporting individual pupils, it is unacceptable to:

Prevent children from accessing their medication

Assume every child with the same condition requires the same treatment

Ignore the views of the child or their parents / carers; ignore medical advice.

Prevent children with medical conditions accessing the full curriculum, unless specified in their Individual Healthcare Plan

If the child becomes ill, send them to the school office or medical room unaccompanied or with someone unsuitable.

Penalise children for their attendance record where this is related to a medical condition.

Prevent children from eating, drinking or taking toilet breaks where this is part of effective management of their condition.

Require parents to administer medicine where this interrupts their working day.

Require parents to accompany their child with a medical condition on a school trip as a condition of that child taking part.

Refusing medication

If a child refuses to take medication, the school staff will not force them to do so. The school will inform the child’s parents as a matter of urgency. If necessary, the school will call the emergency services.

Transitional arrangements

Transitional arrangements between schools will be completed in such a way that Black Horse Hill Junior School will ensure full disclosure of relevant medical information, Healthcare plans and support needed in good time for the child’s receiving school to adequately prepare.

Confidentiality

The school will treat medical information confidentially. The head will agree with the parents who will have access to records and information about a pupil. If information is withheld from staff they cannot be held responsible if they act incorrectly in giving medical assistance but otherwise in good faith.

Strong medication

Where practical, the parent or child will be asked to bring in the required dose each day. When the school stores medicine it will be labelled with the name of the pupil, the name and dose of the drug and the frequency of the administration.

Pupils should know where their medication is stored. Asthma inhalers can be can be stored in the child’s classroom. Other medicines are kept in a secure place not accessible to pupils.

Disposal of medicines

Parents must collect medicines held at school at the end of each term. Parents are responsible for disposal of date expired medicines.

Hygiene/infection control

Staff should follow basic hygiene procedure. Staff should use protective disposable gloves and take care when dealing with blood or other body fluids and disposing of dressing or equipment. Such disposal must be in the yellow medical bin by the school office.

Emergency procedures

Allocated staff have regular training in First Aid and know how to call the emergency services. A pupil taken to hospital by ambulance will be accompanied by a member of staff until the pupil’s parents arrive.

Toileting and changing in the medical room.

At times, children with medical needs need help with changing or toileting. This responsibility is directed by the head to specific staff in agreement with the child’s parents. All specific staff will be trained and follow the one-to-one changing procedure included in the appendix of this policy.

Complaints

Should parents be unhappy with any aspect of their child’s care, they must discuss their concerns with the school. This will be with the child’s class teacher in the first instance, with whom any issues should be managed. If this does not resolve the problem or allay concern, the problem should be brought to a member of the leadership team, who will, where necessary, bring concerns to the attention of the Head teacher. In the unlikely event of this not resolving the issue, the parents must make a formal complaint using the Complaints Procedure

Key points

The school will not normally and regularly administer medicines to children unless the above policy applies.

No teaching staff will administer medicines or supervise children self administering medicines without consent on the appropriate forms.

Any staff member administering medicines will do willingly and with appropriate training.

Any and all medicines will be notified to the school office and kept under its supervision.

This includes asthma relievers and adrenaline pens. The Office will know where these medicines are in school and the Medical needs register with this information shall be updated termly and as and when new children come to school.

Dissemination of the policy

Each teacher has a copy of this policy and a copy can be found in the Head teacher’s office.

The school prospectus contains a statement about medical care, and it is sent to all parents of children new to the school.

A copy of the policy is available to any current or prospective parent on the school’s website or via a request to the Head teacher.

Monitoring and evaluation of the policy

The policy will be reviewed in 2017

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