Medical Needs Policy
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 medical conditions 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.
This policy outlines responsibilities and procedures for supporting pupils at St Ebbe’s Primary School who have medical needs.
Parents and guardians
- Parents 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 headteacher with sufficient information about their child’s medical condition and treatment or special care needed at school.
- Parents are responsible for keeping their children at home for the recommended number of hours after a period of infectious illness. This period varies according to disease and precise details are available from the school administrator.
- With the head, they should reach agreement on the school’s role in helping their child’s medical needs.
- The head should seek parents’ agreement before passing on information about their child’s health to other school staff.
- Parents’ religious and cultural views should always be respected.
- The head 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 headteacher.
- The head is responsible for arranging back-up cover when the member of staff responsible for a pupil with medical needs is absent or unavailable.
Teachers and other school staff
- Teachers who have pupils with medical needs in their class should understand the nature of the condition, and when and where the pupil may need extra attention. They should be aware of the likelihood of an emergency arising and what action to take if one occurs.
- If staff are to administer medication, they may only do so if they have had appropriate training.
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
Short term medical needs
- At times, it may be necessary for a child to finish a course of medication at school. However, where possible, parents will be encouraged to administer the medicine outside school hours.
- School staff will not give non-prescribed medication without written consent in advance.
- In the case of children suffering regularly from acute pain, such as a migraine, the parents will authorise and supply appropriate pain killers together with written instruction about when the child should take the medication. A member of staff will supervise the pupil taking medication keep a log of all medication taken and notify the parents in writing on the day pain killers are taken.
Long term medical needs
The school needs to have sufficient information of any pupil with long term medical needs. The school will then draw up a written health care plan for such pupils, involving the parents and relevant health professional.
Individual health care plans
These enable the school to identify the level of support that is needed at school. Those who may need to contribute to the plan are
- the headteacher
- the parent or carer
- the child (if sufficiently mature)
- class teacher
- teaching assistant
- school staff who have agreed to administer medication or be trained in emergency procedures
- the school health service, the child’s GP or other health care professionals.
- No pupil will be given medication without the parent’s written consent. This consent will also give details of the medication to be administered, including
- name of medication
- method of administration
- time and frequency of administration
- other treatment
- any side effects
- Staff will complete and sign record cards each time they give medication to a pupil. In such circumstances, wherever possible, the dosage and administration will be witnessed by a second adult.
- If pupils can take their medication themselves, staff will supervise this, bearing in mind the safety of other pupils. Written parental consent is necessary for this.
- Staff who have had training will be able to administer 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.
Staff supervising excursions should be aware of any medical needs, and relevant emergency procedures. Sometimes an additional supervisor or parent might accompany a particular pupil. If staff are concerned about whether they can provide for a pupil’s safety, or the safety of other pupils on a trip, they will seek medical advice from the School Health Service or the child’s GP.
Children with medical needs will be encouraged to take part in sporting activities appropriate to their own abilities. Any restrictions on a pupil’s ability to participate in PE or games will be included in their individual health care plan.
Some pupils may need to take precautionary measures before or during exercise and/or need to be allowed immediate access to their medication if necessary. All teachers have a record of pupils’ medical needs at the back of their registers, so that they are kept fully aware of relevant medical conditions and emergency procedures.
Parents are asked to include details of children’s medical needs on permission slips for after school sporting activities, so that those providing relevant clubs are also kept fully aware of relevant medical conditions and emergency procedures.
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.
- 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.
- Where a pupil needs two or more prescribed medicines, each should be kept in a separate container.
- Pupils should know where their medication is stored.
- 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.
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.
Designated 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. All parents and carers complete the Emergency Medical Treatment consent form as part of the induction process.
Administration of rectal diazepam in epilepsy and febrile convulsions, insulin for diabetes and the anaphylaxis procedure
Designated staff will have regular training in the administration of medication for these medical conditions where appropriate e.g. epi-pen training.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
SICKNESS and DIARRHOEA
If your child has had sickness and/or diarrhoea you MUST NOT SEND HIM/HER TO SCHOOL until he/she has been clear of symptoms for at least 24 hours. Children returning to school before then can pass the bug to other children and staff.
There is a poster on the first aid room door giving details of many common diseases.
Your child should not attend school during the contagious period.
ANTIBIOTICS and OTHER MEDICINES
There should be no need for your child to be given medicine during the school day.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed to be taken three times a day. This can be before school, after school and at bedtime. If your child cannot complete the school day without Calpol then we do not regard them as well enough to be in school.
AT NO TIME should a child be in possession of medicine at school, this includes throat lozenges. In exceptional circumstances if your child requires medication during school hours it must be clearly labelled with the child’s name and be handed to a member of staff with an accompanying letter signed and dated by the parent/guardian for safekeeping. We do not administer or keep Calpol in school unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Children with asthma should have an inhaler clearly named (on the inhaler not the box) in school. It should be handed into the class teacher who will keep it in the classroom cupboard. It is your responsibility to ensure that the inhaler works and has not run out, also to remind your child to take his/her inhaler on school trips.
If your child has an allergy to food or any other substances, please speak to Amanda Robson (First Aid co-ordinator) who will advise you on what paperwork needs to be completed, and how the school will ensure the safety of your child.
If your child becomes unwell at school we need to be able to contact you to arrange prompt collection of the child. Please make sure the office has up to date telephone numbers,including mobile numbers.