Medicines

If at all possible, we ask parents to administer medicines at home. However, please see guidance below (issued June 2018) regarding administration of medicines at school:

 

Nurseries
In April 2017, the Department for Education produced the following guidance – “Statutory
framework for the early years foundation stage. Setting the standards for learning,
development and care for children from birth to five”.


3.45. Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, for administering
medicines. It must include systems for obtaining information about a child’s needs for
medicines, and for keeping this information up-to-date. Training must be provided for
staff where the administration of medicine requires medical or technical knowledge.
Prescription medicines must not be administered unless they have been
prescribed for a child by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist (medicines
containing aspirin should only be given if prescribed by a doctor).


This relates to medicines that must be prescribed, not over the counter medicines
(paragraph 3.46 makes clear that there are prescription and non-prescription medicines).
GPs and other prescribers should not therefore be required to prescribe over the counter
medicines (see also 3.46).


3.46. Medicine (both prescription and non-prescription) must only be administered
to a child where written permission for that particular medicine has been obtained
from the child’s parent and/or carer. Providers must keep a written record each time
a medicine is administered to a child, and inform the child’s parents and/or carers on
the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable.


This is clear that administration of non-prescription medicines (over the counter medicines)
can be administered following written permission by the child’s parent and/or carer. GPs and
other prescribers should not be required to write to confirm that it is appropriate to administer
over the counter medicines – parents can provide this consent.


Schools
In December 2015, the Department for Education produced the following guidance –
“Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. Statutory guidance for
governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England”


Wherever possible, children should be allowed to carry their own medicines
and relevant devices or should be able to access their medicines for selfmedication
quickly and easily. Children who can take their medicines themselves
or manage procedures may require an appropriate level of supervision. If it is not
appropriate for a child to self-manage, relevant staff should help to administer
medicines and manage procedures for them.


This highlights that children should be allowed to self-medicate wherever possible.
No child under 16 should be given prescription or non-prescription medicines
without their parent’s written consent – except in exceptional circumstances
where the medicine has been prescribed to the child without the knowledge of the
parents. In such cases, every effort should be made to encourage the child or young
person to involve their parents while respecting their right to confidentiality. Schools
should set out the circumstances in which non-prescription medicines may be
administered.


This is clear that non-prescription medicines (over the counter medicines) can be
administered following written permission by the child’s parent. GPs and other prescribers
should not be required to write to confirm that it is appropriate to administer over the counter
medicines – parents can provide this consent.


Schools should only accept prescribed medicines if these are in-date, labelled,
provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include
instructions for administration, dosage and storage. The exception to this is insulin,
which must still be in date, but will generally be available to schools inside an insulin
pen or a pump, rather than in its original container.


This relates to where prescribed medicines are managed by the school, not over the counter
medicines (the paragraph above makes clear that there are prescription and nonprescription
medicines). GPs and other prescribers should not therefore be required to
prescribe over the counter medicines.