Administration of Medicines Policy

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.

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Rationale

This policy, as outlined, was put in place to;

  • Clarify areas of responsibility
  • Give clear guidance about situations where it is and is not appropriate to administer medicines
  • Indicate the limitations to any requirements which may be notified to teachers and school staff
  • Outline procedures to deal with pupils with allergies in our school
  • Safeguard school staff that are willing to administer medication
  • Protect against possible litigation.

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 minimise health risks to children and staff on the school premises
  • To fulfill the duty of the BoM in relation to Health and Safety requirements
  • To provide a framework within which medicines may be administered in cases of emergency, or in instances where regularised administration has been agreed with parents/guardians.

In–School Procedures

Parents are required to provide relevant medical information when enrolling their child/ren in the school. No teacher is obliged to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil and any teacher willing to do so works under the controlled guidelines outlined below.

  • Prescribed medicines will only be administered after parents of the pupil concerned have written to the BoM requesting the Board to authorise a member of the teaching staff to do so. The Board will seek indemnity from parents in respect of any liability arising from the administration of medicines. The medicine should not be kept by the pupil but in a cupboard out of reach of all pupils.
  • Under no circumstance will non-prescribed medicines be either stored or administered in the school.
  • The school generally advocates the self-administration of medicine (e.g. inhalers) under the supervision of a responsible adult, exercising the standard of care of a prudent parent.
  • With the exception of medication held for emergency situations, medicines are generally not stored on the school premises overnight. However, a small quantity of prescription drugs will be stored in the main 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.
  • While the Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engaged in authorised school activities, this does not imply a duty upon teachers to personally undertake the administration of medication.
  • Medication in this policy refers to medicines, tablets and sprays administered by mouth only. The Anapen is to be administered as per instructions should the need arise.
  • The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that teachers be made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by their child. This information should be provided at enrolment, or at the development of any medical condition at a later date.

Long Term Health Problems

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 would include measures such as self administration, administration under parental supervision or administration by authorised school staff.

Life Threatening Conditions

  • Parents should outline clearly proper procedures for children who require medication for life threatening conditions. Written details are required from parents/guardians outlining a 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.
  • Where children are suffering from life threatening conditions, parents/guardians must clearly outline, in writing, what should be done in a particular emergency situation, with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child (See Appendix 3).
  • If emergency medication is necessary, arrangements must be made with the Board of Management. A letter of indemnity must be signed by the parents in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medication.

Emergencies

  • Parents must ensure that teachers are made aware in writing of any medical condition from which their child is suffering. 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.
  • 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 should be sought at the earliest opportunity, by calling 999/112.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines

  • The parents of the pupil with special medical needs must inform the Board of Management in writing of the condition, giving all the necessary details of the condition. The request must also contain written instruction of the procedure to be followed in administering the medication. (See appendices 1, 2 and 3)
  • Parents must write requesting the Board of Management to authorise the administration of the medication in school, and where necessary to request the Board of Management to authorise a member of staff to administer the medication. (See appendix 1).
  • The Board, having considered the matter, may authorise a staff member to administer medication to a pupil or to monitor the self-administration by a pupil. The Board will ensure that the authorised person is properly instructed in how to administer the medication.
  • No staff member can be required to administer medication to a pupil, and any staff member who is willing to administer medicines should follow the procedures exactly as outlined by the parent/guardian in the belief that the administration is safe.
  • Parents are further required to indemnify the Board of Management and members of the staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school.
  • The Board of Management must inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
  • Where specific authorisation has been given by the Board of Management for the administration of medicine, the medicine must be brought to school by the parent/guardian/designated adult.
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that emergency medication is supplied to the school, and replenished when necessary.
  • Emergency medication must have exact details of how it is to be administered.
  • A written record of the date and time of administration must be kept by the person administering it. (See appendix 4)
  • All correspondence related to the above is kept in the main office.
  • Copies of details for individual children are also kept by the relevant class teachers. Procedures for the administration of medication are displayed on the inside of the teacher press in the relevant classrooms.
  • Photos of children who may require medication in school are displayed in the staff room, and the children are known to all staff. All staff also know to send for the class teacher and/or the principal if such a child seems unwell.

Medicines

  • 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 above. A teacher/SNA must not administer any medication without the specific authorisation of the Board of Management.
  • Arrangements for the storage of certain emergency medicines, which must be readily accessible at all times, must be made with the Principal.
  • 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.
  • Children will not be allowed to keep medication in bags, coats, etc.
  • Where possible, the parents should arrange for the administration of prescribed medicines outside of school hours.

First Aid Boxes

A full medical kit is taken when children are engaged in out of school activities such as tours, football/hurling games and athletic activities.

There are three first aid boxes in the school: one located in the main office, one in Room 9 and the other in Room 11. All staff are aware of these locations. The contents of each box include latex free gloves, anti-septic wipes, anti-septic bandages, plasters, sprays, steri-strips, cotton wool, scissors etc. and these are replenished when deemed necessary by the Health and Safety Officer or the First Aid officer.

Defibrillator

There is one defibrillator in the school. For details, see Safety Statement.

General Recommendations

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 Board of Management 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. Peter Woods is the Safety Officer, and the maintenance and replenishment of First Aid Boxes is the responsibility of Cassie Brady, the First Aid Officer.

Success Criteria

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 remains with parents/guardians

Ratification, communication, monitoring and review

This policy was ratified at a BOM meeting on 25th March 2019. It will be communicated to staff and the school community as appropriate, and it will be reviewed in the event of incidents or on the enrolment of a child/children with significant medical conditions, but no later than 2022.

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