Administration of Medication
Medicines should only be taken to school when essential; that is where it would be detrimental to a child’s health if the medicine were not administered during the school day. Staff at Heath Hayes Academy will only administer medicines prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse prescriber or pharmacist prescriber. Medicines will only be accepted in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and should include the prescriber’s instructions for administration. It is helpful if medicines are prescribed in dose frequencies which enable it to be taken outside school hours. For example, medicines that need to be taken three times a day could be taken in the morning, after school hours and at bedtime. If a parent wishes to adapt the timing of medicine administration, written confirmation of this must accompany the medication. Please complete the relevant form for medication to be administered. Copies can be collected from the school office or printed directly below.
Prescribed medicine will not be given:
- Where the timing of the dose is vital and where mistakes could lead to serious consequences. (Please refer to Children with Long Term Medical Needs section)
- Where medical or technical expertise is required.
- Where intimate contact would be necessary.
Children with Asthma
Children who have inhalers should have them available where necessary. Inhalers should be kept in a safe but accessible place. This could either be in the drawer of the teacher’s desk or in a child’s own tray. Please refer to the asthma protocol on the schools’ website. Depending on the needs of the individual, inhalers should be taken to all physical activities. Inhalers must be labelled and include guidelines on administration.
It is the responsibility of parents to regularly check the condition of inhalers and ensure that they are working and have not been completely discharged.
Non Prescription Medicines
We are unable to administer medicines that have not been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse prescriber or pharmacist prescriber. We are unable to give children aspirin or medicines containing ibuprofen unless prescribed by a doctor.
Storage of Medicines
All medicines should be delivered to the school office reception by the parent or carer. In no circumstances should medicines be left in a child’s possession. Teachers and teaching assistants should not take receipt of any medicines. All medicines should be stored in accordance with product instructions (paying particular attention to temperature). Medicines will normally be kept in the First Aid room fridge and should not be kept in classrooms, with the exception of adrenaline pens and inhalers. All medicines must be stored in the supplied container and be clearly labelled with the name of the child; the name and dose of the medicine and the frequency of administration.
All emergency medicines, such as asthma inhalers and adrenaline pens, should be readily available to children and staff and kept in an agreed place in the classroom or First Aid cupboard.
Disposal of Medicines
Parents are responsible for ensuring that date-expired medicines are returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal. They should collect medicines at the end of the agreed administration time period. A letter or e-mail will be sent home to all parents who have left medicines in the school in July for collection.
If any medicines remain uncollected at the end of the summer term, they will be disposed of at a local pharmacist by a member of the office staff.
Trips and Outings
Children with medical needs are given the same opportunities as other children. Staff may need to consider what reasonable adjustments they might make to enable children with medical needs to participate fully and safely on visits. This may include carrying out a risk assessment for such children. The school visit coordinator will be responsible for tabulating medical information for each child and one member of staff will be nominated as having responsibility for the administration of all medication. Roles and responsibilities of parents/carers as outlined below will apply.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Should give sufficient information about their child’s medical needs if treatment or special care is required.
- Must deliver all medicines to the school office in person.
- Must complete and sign the parental agreement form.
- Must keep staff informed of changes to prescribed medicines.
- Keep medicines in date – particularly emergency medication, such as adrenaline pens.
- To ensure that the school’s policy on the administration of medicines is implemented.
- There are members of staff within the school willing to volunteer to administer medication to specific pupils if required.
- Ensure that staff receive support and appropriate training where necessary.
- To share information, as appropriate, about a child’s medical needs.
- Ensure that parents are aware of the schools policy on the administration of medicines.
- Ensure that medicines are stored correctly.
- On receipt of medicines, the child’s name; prescribed dose; expiry date and written instructions provided by the prescriber should be checked.
- Ensure that the parent/career completes a consent form for the administration of medicines following the prescriber’s instruction.
- Ensure that a second member of staff is present when medicines are administered.
- Complete the ‘administration of medicines’ record sheet each time medication is given.
- Ensure that medicines are returned to parents for safe disposal.
Refusal of Medicines
If a child refuses to take medicines, staff should not force them to do so, but should note this in the records and inform parents immediately or as soon as is reasonably possible.
Medicines should be provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include the prescriber’s instructions. Staff should check that written details include:
- name of the child
- name of the medicine
- method of administration
- time and frequency of administration
- any side effects
- expiry date
A parental agreement form (see appendix) must be completed and signed by the parent, before medicines can be administered. At the time of administering medicines, the member of staff must complete the medicines record sheet. No medication should be given unless it has been checked by a second adult.
Children with Long Term Medical Needs
It is important that the school has sufficient information about the medical condition of any child with long term medical needs. A health care plan will be written for children with long term medical needs, involving the parents and relevant health professionals.
You can access Department of Education (DfE) guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions here.