Administration of Medicines Policy
This policy is the result of a review of the procedures in this area which had been in place since 2006 and the need to update them. The policy was drafted by the Health and Safety committee of the school which consulted with staff members and the parent body.
Relationship to School Ethos:
The school promotes positive home-school contacts, not only in relation to the welfare of children, but in relation to all aspects of school life. This policy is in keeping with the school ethos through the provision of a safe, secure and caring school environment and the furthering of positive home-school links.
Aims of this Policy:
The aims and objectives of the policy can be summarised as follows:
- To clarify areas of responsibility in relation to the administration of medicine.
- To provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency
- To safeguard school staff who are willing to administer medication under defined conditions.
In –School Procedures:
- All parents/ guardians are required to complete the Health/Medication section of the enrolment form when enrolling their child/ren in the school.
- Where there are children with long-term health problems in school, proper and clearly understood arrangements for the administration of medicines must be made with the Board of Management. This is the responsibility of the parents/guardians. It includes such measures such as self-administration, administration under parental supervision or administration by school staff (Procedures for same outlined below.)
- The school generally advocates the self-administration (e.g. inhalers) of medicine under the supervision of a responsible adult, exercising the standard of care of a prudent parent. In general no medicines are stored on the school premises. However a small quantity of prescription drugs may be stored in the Administration Office if a child requires self-administering on a daily basis and parents have requested storage facilities. Parents are responsible for the provision of medication and notification of change of dosage.
- Teachers have a professional duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils, both when they are authorised to be on the school premises and when they are engaged in authorised school activities elsewhere. The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that teachers be made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by any child in their class. This does not imply a duty upon teachers personally to undertake the administration of medicines or drugs.
- Non-prescribed medicines will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school.
- Teachers/SNAs in the school will only administer prescribed medication when arrangements have been put in place as outlined below.
- Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, will be made with the Principal.
- A teacher/SNA must not administer any medication without the specific authorisation of the Board of Management.
- The prescribed medicine must be self-administered if possible, under the supervision of an authorised Teacher/SNA if not the parent.
- No teacher/SNA can be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil.
- In an emergency situation, qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity and the parents contacted.
- It is not recommended that children keep medication in bags, coats, etc.
- Where possible, the parents should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours
Procedures for parents/ guardian who wish to have a prescribed medicine administered to their child by a staff member:
1.(a) the parent(s) or guardians of the pupil concerned should write to the Board of Management requesting the Board of Management to authorise a member of the staff to administer the medication;
(b) the request should also contain a completed protocol form, which has been signed off on by the prescribing doctor, giving written instructions of the procedure to be followed in administering the medication;
(c) All staff who are willing to administer medication should be provided with appropriate training in the administration of the particular medication prior to being authorised to do so.
(d) a teacher should not administer medication without the specific authorisation of the Board;
(e) in administering medication to pupils, staff should exercise the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent parent;
(f) the Board of Management will inform the school's insurers accordingly;
(g) the Board of Management will seek an indemnity from the parent(s)/guardians in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of the medication.
(h) when all the above are in place the Board of Management, having considered the matter, may authorise a teacher/ staff member to administer medication to a pupil
- Arrangements will be made by the Principal for the safe storage of medication.
- In the event of the absence of authorised personnel parents /guardians will be informed that there are no trained personnel who are authorised to do so on a particular day. .
- It is the parent's responsibility to ensure there is an adequate supply of medicine in the school and that it is in date.
In the event of an emergency, teachers should do no more than is necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical treatment will be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity. It is school policy to call an ambulance for any person who has a seizure on school premises.
Where no qualified medical treatment is available, and circumstances warrant immediate medical attention, designated staff members may take a child into Accident and Emergency without delay. Parents will be contacted simultaneously. (Permission section is attached to enrolment forms).
In addition, parents must ensure that teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition which their child is suffering from. For example children who are epileptics, diabetics etc. may have a seizure at any time and teachers must be made aware of symptoms in order to ensure that treatment may be given by appropriate persons.
Written details are required from the parents/guardians outlining the child’s personal details, name of medication, prescribed dosage, whether the child is capable of self-administration and the circumstances under which the medication is to be given. Parents should also outline clearly proper procedures for children who require medication for life threatening conditions.
The school maintains an up to date register of contact details of all parents/guardians including emergency numbers. This is updated in September of each new school year.
We recommend that any child who shows signs of illness should be kept at home; requests from parents to keep their children in at lunch break are not encouraged. A child too sick to play with peers should not be in school.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The BoM has overall responsibility for the implementation and monitoring of the school policy on Administration of Medication. The Principal is the day to day manager of routines contained in the policy with the assistance of all staff members.
The effectiveness of the school policy in its present form is measured by the following criteria;
- Compliance with Health and Safety legislation
- Maintaining a safe and caring environment for children
- Positive feedback from parents/teachers
- Ensuring the primary responsibility for administering medication remains with parents/guardians
Ratification and Review:
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 8th April 2014. It will be reviewed in the event of incidents or on the enrolment of child/children with significant medical conditions, but no later than 2017.