To think this schools policy on prescribed medicines is wrong?

(135 Posts)
ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 18:24:34

I just wondered weather there is a standard rule about this for all primary schools?

DN has just started school in. He suffers from severe asthma, its especially bad in winter months to the point where he has hospital stays monthly. His school initially requested that an inhaler was taken in. However after a little probing it seems they haven't been giving it to him. He's very wheezy. When asked the teacher responded by saying that he didn't request it. They expected a 4 yr old to prompt them every 4 hours for an inhaler! And now the school is saying they won't be responsible for ensuring the inhaler is regularly given to DN.

Now I'm a little shocked as I assumed schools had a duty of care. And certainly had to have plans in place for children who needed prescribed medication during the school day.

MrsDeVere Thu 10-Oct-13 20:11:41

I work for the specialist children's service.
Our community nurses regularly train nurseries and schools to deal with ng feeds, epipens, trachies, suction, in fact anything and everything a child needs to enable them to to attend school.

No excuse.

Children have a right to as normal as life as possible and if that means a school getting their arse in gear and getting free training for a few members of staff they should bloody well do it.

Anything else is unacceptable and lazy.

ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 20:15:13

martin well I hope my child never comes across a teacher like you.

AmberLeaf Thu 10-Oct-13 20:24:46

I haven't heard of inhalers being used every 4 hours, usually it is as required and the child will alert a member of staff to ask for access to their inhaler

There are two kinds, preventative [taken at regular intervals] and relievers [taken when needed]

I don't see how this kind of thing doesn't come under duty of care/loco parentis.

MrsDeVere Thu 10-Oct-13 20:27:33

The way inhalers are given has changed a lot over the years.
DC5 is currently on the step up, step down approach.

This could mean he needs his inhaler 4 times a day.

His nursery is more than happy to give it too him and they wouldn't wait for a 3 year old to ask.

He wouldn't. He doesn't know that he is having an attack. He runs around as normal. He is just that sort of kid.

mrspremise Thu 10-Oct-13 20:27:35

Inexcusable. The school that I work in not only gives antibiotics when needed, but also does diabetic glucose tests/insulin injections as needed and asthma etc inhalers/nebulisers as needed. All we ak for is a consent form and arrange training as necessary. This strikes me as lazy and unhelpful on the part of the school.

Sirzy Thu 10-Oct-13 20:28:29

With severe asthma often the reliever is needed on a regular basis too just as part of the basic management. At the moment DS has 5 puffs of ventolin as his morning and evening routine but often when he is bad he also needs extra during the day and there are times when his normal treatment involved dinner time ventolin - normally over winter!

mummeeee Thu 10-Oct-13 20:45:11

Forrin, it sounds like you are having a hard time ( both on mn and in rl) and I really don't think it should be so

My dd(5) (in year 1) has a rare chronic condition and requires certain care and medication at school.

Fortunately, her condition was fairly stable when she started year R. I prepared a lot of written information & talked to the school and the nominated person from the local authority regularly from the first open day through till the present...it will be ongoing. I arrange times to train staff etc. Because my dd has multiple needs, we got something called an IPA ( which, and I'm not an expert, appears to be much less than a statement & doesn't carry any specific funding, but allows the school and parents to have a formal agreement, which is reviewed regularly).

I prepared a spreadsheet with what to do in certain circumstances, what constitutes an emergency etc. I have another spreadsheet with what medications are required on which days of the week etc.

Basically, dd needs different care throughout the day, so it is perhaps a bit more complicated than your ds, but from a medications point of view, the office staff do her medications every lunchtime. They have a fridge to store the medications in and she goes to the office every lunchtime and takes her meds.

I completely agree that the inhaler should be achievable in your ds's school. I would advise you to make an appointment with the senco to discuss it and explain what is required. Good luck.

mummeeee Thu 10-Oct-13 20:47:07

Oops, just re-read original post. I mean dn not ds.

mrslaughan Thu 10-Oct-13 21:02:03

It's the schools responsibility - ask for a meeting with the head teacher, and ask what plan is in place to ensure his medical needs are meet.
People can be so blasé about asthma, but it can kill.
This is about access to education for all, and that means some children need medication administered or tests (as in diabetes) taken.
If no joy with the head teacher I would escalate it to the local education authority.
For advice on this ask in the special needs board.

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 21:14:05

Theres 2 issues here:

1) were proper plans drawn up with community school nurse in place before the child started school with a signed plan to say he'll have his meds at X time?

2)If they weren't then why does a child with such severe asthma attend without plans being in place and if yes why are the school not following this plan?

My DS took AH daily and he didn't have a dose once (year 1) as he didn't go to office for it and they didn't go get him. They tried to blame a 5yo for forgetting. I would have accepted mistakes happen but they were so defensive and quick to blame a 5yo with SN I roasted their arses and provided them with some stats re anaphylaxis and asked for proof their epipen training was up to date.

I'm easy going and as someone who works in education I can see both sides - but I can't abide it when adults blame a child who isn't legally responsible for themselves for their policies, organisation etc not working as well as it could.

Damnautocorrect Thu 10-Oct-13 21:20:41

Isn't this why schools had welfare ladies? But it was decided they weren't needed and ta's could do it?

pudding25 Thu 10-Oct-13 21:25:56

We have a welfare lady at our school who deals with all things like that and the child would be given it when needed.
We also have a diabetic child who has everything done for them at school.

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 10-Oct-13 21:31:10

Has it been made clear to the school that the "blue" reliever inhaler needs to be every four hours. Our asthma permission form that parents sign say something along the lines of "as needed, following directions on the pharmacist's label", which often says as needed. This is very different at regular intervals every four hours.
Was the original form that you filled in when he was less asthmatic and rarely needed it and have you been in or written to confirm any changes?

SummerRain Thu 10-Oct-13 21:40:14

Dds inhaler is kept in the office and she has to ask for it. Standard policy these days. If she's on regular doses I tell her when she'll need to ask for it (before lunch for example) and she lets her teacher know.

Ds2 is 4 with severe speech issues and he's able to tell me if his chest is bad, I do think your dn should be able to tell the teacher if he needs his inhaler, a lot of wheezing isn't obvious to an observer, the teacher really can't be expected to know when he needs it.

I assume the regular doses are temporary whilst he's getting over an attack, the rest of the time he should only be using it as needed so he has to be able to speak up.

northlight Thu 10-Oct-13 21:40:51

This sounds so wrong. Where I teach children on regular medication are catered for. Usually by the school secretary or HT and class teachers know where to find the meds and protocol. Inhalers are kept in the classroom and accessible to children if necessary.

I don't know if its the case everywhere but in recent years there has been a reduction in the number of children using inhalers. You can be pretty sure that if a child has one it is needed.

ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 21:59:16

Ok. Having spoken to Db this evening I asked exactly what steps were taken to ensure the school where aware of his needs.
They had a home visit from his teacher. Where they went into detail the exact support that DN needed. This was confirmed via both the home visit and via all the necessary forms that were filled out stipulating dosage as per priscription. No community school nurse has been involved to date. How

So it does look like the school is somewhat at fault here. Db is arranging a meeting with the head to discuss exactly what plans will be in place going forward to ensure DN is adequately supported.

newname he has only just started reception. And his Asthma hasn't changed in the 5 weeks he's been in school. However it seems to be worse in the winter iykwim.

Does anyone know how an appointment is made with Senco? Is that done via the school? And the community nurse? (Sorry I actually have no experience of procedures in primary schools, my little ones have yet to start.)

Nerfmother Thu 10-Oct-13 22:05:40
ForrinForrinerFromForrinLand Thu 10-Oct-13 22:12:17

Not every 4 yr old is the same. One might be perfectly capable of requesting medication as needed. DN isn't. Yes he knows he's wheezy but if there's something that's more interesting, a game he's playing, then that will take precedence. He doesn't truly understand the implication of not taking his meds. Nor would I expect him to at that age.

NewNameforNewTerm Thu 10-Oct-13 22:13:15

You would need to contact the school for a SENCo appointment. They are responsible for the special educational needs within the school, so it is very unlikely that asthma would come under their remit. Better option would be the headteacher.

Sirzy Thu 10-Oct-13 22:15:17

IMO his parents need to make him realise the importance of that. He is the one living with it he needs to grow up understanding it. If it it as bad as you say then he needs to realise the importance of taking his medicine and asking for it.

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 22:19:30

GP surgery will have the number of your local school nurse.

PeppiNephrine Thu 10-Oct-13 22:25:52

There is a simple answer here. You buy a childs digital watch with an alarm, which you set for the medication time (if every four hours he must only need it once in school time) and you train him to ask for his inhaler when the alarm goes off. A four year old should be able to do this.

MortifiedAdams Thu 10-Oct-13 22:26:49

What tme is Lunch? If it is at 12.30, get him to take the inhaler at 8.30 with you and tell him to take it again at the start of lunch.

he doesnt then have to remember it every four hours - just once a day at a set time.

BrianTheMole Thu 10-Oct-13 22:29:27

I assume the regular doses are temporary whilst he's getting over an attack, the rest of the time he should only be using it as needed so he has to be able to speak up.

Thats not necessarily true. I have severe asthma and have to take the preventative inhaler always. And not all 4 year olds will speak up or remember. Great that your child is able to do this. But if you're not having an attack or feeling wheezy, it is easy to forget to take medication. It is not acceptable to lay the entire responsibility on the shoulders of a 4 year old, because if and when they do forget, their health is put at critical risk. Ridiculous.

nennypops Thu 10-Oct-13 22:31:48

Apart from issues such as the basic duty of care, if a school fails to give essential medication it could be guilty of disability discrimination. Most schools have someone like a welfare bod whose specific responsibility it is to deal with issues like this, either giving the medicine themselves or training and supervising TAs.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now