Advanced search

To think that schools should not be pressurising parents to take their children to the doctor just because the child has been off for two days

(84 Posts)
ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 10:53:53

dd has flu. She has been sick, has a runny nose and a temperature. There is no way that she is fit for school. The school are telling me that I need to take to the doctor. I have refused to take her to the doctor because I think it would be a monumental waste of everyone's time. Dd just wants to hide under her duvet. I am pretty certain that dd just has a virus that needs to take its course and there is nothing that a GP can do to help dd. Dd horrible lurgly could be dangerous to vunerable groups like the elderly or pregnant women. I would hate for my poor GP to catch dd's germs.

I feel that schools should not be encouraging parents to waste GPs time. Adults are allowed to self certify for up to seven days. I think that parents should be allowed to certify that their children are too sick for school for seven days.

Its no wonder that people cannot get appointments for the doctor when they need a doctor. I want a doctor appointment to be available to dd if she is not better next week.

Nabootique Tue 10-Nov-15 10:56:34

YANBU. I would be the same as you. Do they want some kind of note from the GP? They're so hot on absences these days, I wonder if the stats look better if absences are GP certified or something.

Agree entirely.

Doctors' appointments should be for people that need actual medical attention of some sort. Not to placate schools getting tetchy about their attendance figures.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 10-Nov-15 10:59:40

Would a telephone call to nurse at gp suffice? Describe dd's symptoms and say you are treating with Otc remedies. You do not feel gp apt required but school do. It will be noted in dd's records.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 10-Nov-15 11:00:02

has she been ill a lot?

coffeeisnectar Tue 10-Nov-15 11:01:28

Yadnbu. I would actually put this in writing to the school and ask them why they want you to risk contaminating the wider population. To what end? What will a visit achieve? As you say, it needs to run its course.

The irony of the 48 hour d and v rule is invariably the child is fine after throwing up once but "just in case" they spread it at school need to be kept off.

Hope your poor dd feels better soon.

lifesalongsong Tue 10-Nov-15 11:03:30

In general I agree with you but if a child has flu I would actually want them to see a doctor, we're told that it's a very serious condition and imo should be tracked to help with the vaccination programme etc.

Out of interest - has your DD had the vacinnation?

ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 11:04:24

"has she been ill a lot?"

No. Admitally this term she has had more illness than last year.

She has had four days off this term including today. Last year she had 98% attendence. Prehaps having flu has taken her attendence below the magical 95% for this term.

GP time is expensive. Why should a GP appointment be wasted for a tick box exercise.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 10-Nov-15 11:07:46


most things are manageable at home with OTC pain relief and decongestants etc

you don't waste a drs time fir that

Helenluvsrob Tue 10-Nov-15 11:09:45

absolutely. It is not the GP role to police sickness absence at school or in the workplace.
There is no such thing as a " sick note" for kids.and "evidence they had an appointment with the GP" is not evidence that they are unwell.... after all anyone can book a slot and get an appointment card ( and either not attend or be seen with a verruca or something equally non important).

ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 11:13:13

"Out of interest - has your DD had the vacinnation?"

Yes, she had the vacinnation last Monday. She has been sill since Friday evening. I contacted the school nurse because I thought she had had an adverse reaction to the fluenz Tetra. The school nurse told me that dd's symptoms sound like flu, but there are lots of strains of flu that are not included in the fluenz tetra vaccination. Dd has several friends off with the same symptoms at the moment. I told the school nurse that I thought that dd was improving. She has been sick today and her temperature is only 99F as opposed to 103F.

I think we need to get the risks of flu into proportion. Having flu is dangerous if you are elderly or in a vunerable group. dd is a healthy six year old and I don't believe she is at risk. She just needs lots of rest and tlc.

Mistigri Tue 10-Nov-15 11:13:43

The GP is NOT going to test for flu, and will be unable to say - any more than a parent can - whether it's heavy cold, flu, or a flu-like virus.

I would put your concerns in writing to the school with a copy to the governors. Telling parents of children with self-limiting illnesses that they must get a doctors note is a shocking misuse of public resources.

The idea of a call to the GP nurse isn't a bad one, just in case there is any comeback. I am sure that the nurse will completely share your opinion on this.

ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 11:14:18

Sorry she hasn't been sick today. She is keeping liquids down and I gave her some toast an hour ago.

Mistigri Tue 10-Nov-15 11:15:37

If she's vaccinated it's probably not flu at all - there are plenty of nasty viruses that aren't flu. This year's vaccine (unlike last years) is supposedly a decent match for the circulating flu viruses.

BertPuttocks Tue 10-Nov-15 11:15:49


Our GP practice actually contacted one of the local schools to ask them to stop doing this. They were fed up with parents coming in purely because the school had told them they had to.

AuntieStella Tue 10-Nov-15 11:17:26

I'm afraid this is the effect on a school when there is an outbreak of parents who pull sickies for their DC.

That doesn't make it right (desirable, or possible) to take a child with a minor ailment to the GP, and of course it becomes a kafkaesque nightmare for those with a chronic condition.

howtorebuild Tue 10-Nov-15 11:20:13

The GP's should be telling DfE they won't facilitate this nonsense, do one letter charge fifty pounds to DfE instead of parents and put a stop to it. Seriously this is getting out of hand now.

ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 11:21:49

"If she's vaccinated it's probably not flu at all - there are plenty of nasty viruses that aren't flu. This year's vaccine (unlike last years) is supposedly a decent match for the circulating flu viruses."

I think its academic whether she has "flu" or not. There is no way that dd is well enough for school. It does not require a medical degree to tell that a child with a temperature, a runny bum and been vomiting is not fit for school.

"Our GP practice actually contacted one of the local schools to ask them to stop doing this. They were fed up with parents coming in purely because the school had told them they had to."

As a parent I feel a little scared that if I do not apply with the school's request to take dd to the GP I will be issued with a £60 fine. Do you think that my GP would be angry if I asked him to write to the school to educate them. Maybe the GP surgery and the school could formulate a plan on how to assess children with poor attendence that does not waste GP time. (A little old fashioned) It would have fitted into the ethos of every child matters.

howtorebuild Tue 10-Nov-15 11:23:20

Oh by the way, dd has a long term health condition and her grades went up after a period of homeschooling, the grades and time off stuff isn't always true. I suspect some schools fail children with Sen and the school victim blames.

howtorebuild Tue 10-Nov-15 11:25:45

You won't be fined if in my area. I had a massive fight with the L.A. over long term health conditions and fines. I paid not one penny for a fine or GP letter. They have information stating dd has an incurable condition to ask for more is box ticking nonsense.

Stompylongnose Tue 10-Nov-15 11:29:30


Doctors don't do housecalls and have limited appointments that don't need to be clogged with parents needing to be told to keep child hydrated and offer Calpol for pain.

It's cruel forcing children who need rest to go out.

Helenluvsrob Tue 10-Nov-15 11:30:54


That's exactly what I say and I have a standard letter saying " I understand you may want to request a medical report for X. I am happy to provide this service if you request it in writing , with the patients /parents consent and agreement to pay my professional fees as this is a private service"

We have also in the past written to all the head teachers explaining this. It makes no difference,

Funnily enough they never come back to me...

I suspect the school feel that this letter is somehow " proof" that the child was ill. More fool them.

lifesalongsong Tue 10-Nov-15 11:31:10

I don't know how long the vaccination takes to kick in, I would also be concerned that this might be an adverse reaction esp if several children are the same.

ReallyTired Tue 10-Nov-15 11:31:31

I am sorry to hear that your daughter has an incurable condition. She is the sort of child who needs a GP to manage her condition with the best knowledge possible.

My little girl is generally healthy. She is grumpy and miserable, but she isn't going to die. Horrible germs are a normal part of childhood.

MatildaTheCat Tue 10-Nov-15 11:32:34

This is disgraceful. There has been multi millions spent on health campaigns trying to educate the public to avoid wasting time at the GP with viruses. I could understand the school asking for GP involvement after weeks of absence or for ie a psychological condition but IMO they are wildly overstepping the mark.

I would politely refuse and point them to the public health information available. The person most useful to consult might be a pharmacist and then only if you felt unsure about managing the illness.

I do think this warrants a discussion between the local GPS and the schools to avoid any further blatant overestimating of their own powers.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: