Administration of Medicines During School Hours
Administration of Medicines During School Hours
Medicines should only be administered at school when it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so.
Parents have the prime responsibility for their children’s health. The school relies on parents to advise of any medical conditions their children may have and to keep this information updated. Parents are also responsible for ensuring there are enough up to date medicines in school for their child and for replacing them when necessary.
In the case of children with complex or long term medical conditions that require regular medication, an Individual Healthcare Plan will be in place, children with Asthma will have an Asthma Health Plan in place and both of these will include details of their medicines and details of administration.
In the case of children with less complex or short term medical conditions, requiring short term medication, parents must advise of the medical condition requiring medication during school hours in writing, verbal information from parents or pupils will not be acted upon. Written instructions from parents to appoint a proxy who has their permission to act on their behalf (i.e. complete the Register of Medicines) will be accepted.
IN ALL CASES a Register of Medicines MUST be completed. This constitutes the written permission for school staff to administer a medicine during school hours.
Medicines coming in to school
All medication must be handed to a member of staff in the school office (or to the Breakfast Club supervisor if the child is attending Breakfast Club), medicines must never be handed in to other members of staff or sent in via a child.
Prescription only Medicines [POM]
These will only be accepted in school in their original packaging with an NHS pharmacy label attached clearly showing the child’s name, the name, strength, frequency and dosage of the medicine and the date dispensed. Parents will be asked when the last dose was given. A Register of Medicines will be completed and kept with the medicine.
Over the Counter and General Sales Lists Medicines (OTC & GSL)
These will only be accepted in school in their original packaging showing the clear instructions for administration. These medicines will only be given in school for the length of time (usually 48 or 72 hours) advised on them. Parents will be requested to seek medical advice from their GP or Pharmacist beyond this limit if symptoms persist. Staff will always ask when the last dose was given. A Register of Medicines will be completed and kept with the medication.
In all cases staff will only be allowed to follow the instructions on a pharmacy label or original packaging of non-prescribed medicines and will not be able to accept conflicting advice from parents.
Current advice for schools is that medicines are prescribed on a 24 hour clock, therefore:
- medicines prescribed as 3 times a day are to be administered every 8 hours***
- medicines prescribed 4 times a day are to be administered every 6 hours**
*** & **
Following the advice of the Administration of Medicines course staff are trained on:
· Medicines are prescribed on a 24 hour clock unless otherwise stated on a prescription/pharmacists label.
· Medicines prescribed 4 times a day must only be given every 6 hours** which will most likely mean 1 dose during school time. Parents who want to give medication in waking hours only cannot expect school to take responsibility for giving an ‘early’ dose (less than 6 hours since previous dose); the responsibility for giving any ‘early’ dose to fit in with waking hours must be taken by the parent themselves at home.
· Medicines prescribed 3 times a day must only be given every 8 hours*** which will most likely mean no dose is to be administered during school time. Parents who want to give medication in waking hours only cannot expect school to take responsibility for giving an ‘early’ dose (less than 8 hours since previous dose); the responsibility for giving any ‘early’ dose to fit in with waking hours must be taken by the parent themselves at home.
· If a medicine is prescribed to be given at a stated time of day (e.g. 1pm or after lunch) this can be given in accordance with the pharmacy label.
MEDICINES MUST BE GIVEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS OF THE PRESCRIBER (Medicines Act 1968)
GIVING MEDICINE TO CHILDREN BEFORE IT IS DUE CAN CAUSES DROWSINESS AND NAUSEA WHICH IS BEST AVOIDED IN SCHOOL
PARENTS ARE WELCOME TO RETURN TO THEIR DR OR PHARMACY TO CHANGE THE PRESCRIPTION AND PHARMACY LABEL TO STATE DIFFERENTLY, STAFF WOULD THEN BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THIS WRITTEN INSTRUCTION BUT VERBAL ADVICE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED.