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Does a nanny need documentation to make medical decisions for your child in an emergency?

(18 Posts)

Hello wise and experienced ladies of Mumsnet! (Plus Dads of course!)

We have finally found a lovely lady who has agreed to take on the role of nanny for our DD (hooray!) and we're just sorting out all the paperwork now. One of the previous nannies I interviewed mentioned something about needing a statement of some kind from the parents, so that if there was an emergency and my DD had to be rushed to hospital, this statement would allow the nanny to give consent for life-saving treatment in the event that neither myself or DD's father could be reached.

Is this true? I haven't seen anything online referring to a document like this. Obviously, in an age of mobile phones, I'm usually accessible. However I also have long meetings at work, and it's not unusual for me to be uncontactable for a couple of hours here and there throughout the day.

I guess my questions are:
1) Would a hospital really delay providing treatment to a child if their parents could not be reached?
2) If yes, can anyone point me in the direction of some sample wording for the statement please?


nannyuk Sat 18-Jul-15 09:52:31

Hi i have taken children to the hospital before. If it is an emergency they don't usually delay treatment. To cover the nannies back though i would have something in place if you want her to sign consent. the hospital will usually try and call you if it is something major. as long as there is an adult in charge of the child they are fine in my experience

Yerazig Sat 18-Jul-15 09:55:17

When starting a new job I usually ask my bosses to write a quick note just to say any information can be passed on to me with their contact details if needed that's usually for doctors appointments. It literally was like 3 lines just with their consent.

WiIdfire Sat 18-Jul-15 10:00:07

I think its not a good idea to start trying to formally allow the nanny to make medical decisions. Either there is time to contact you, in which case they will, or there isn't, in which case the doctors will act in the best interests of the child - that is quite standard and will not delay treatment. What would be useful is to make sure nanny is aware of medical history - allergies, past operations etc and anything unusual and important e.g. Child is Jehovahs Witness etc (whole other bag of worms there!)
No need to make nanny formally able to consent.

WiIdfire Sat 18-Jul-15 10:01:35

...and what yerazig said.

HSMMaCM Sat 18-Jul-15 10:30:15

I have consent for emergency medical treatment. However ... If it is life or death, the hospital make the decision. I could take a child to A&E for an X-ray after an accident (while waiting for a parent to arrive) for example.

HSMMaCM Sat 18-Jul-15 10:31:07

Some nannies take children to the dentist, doctor, routine jabs, etc.

Cantkinsale Sat 18-Jul-15 10:37:10

Just wanted to add to what everyone else has said.
GP surgeries I have taken LOs to won't even give injections without the written consent from either parent. I've been with this family for many years and the children have over time required lots of injections(2 kids from a few months and birth). They still ask for written consent every time. The previous one they have on file isn't good enough as it's not the current date.
Covering their own backs I suppose.

HSMMaCM Sat 18-Jul-15 10:57:45

Yes I was told they have to be regularly updated as the parents may have changed their mind, their religion, or whatever.

Thanks everyone! That's incredibly helpful!

Tanith Sat 18-Jul-15 11:10:34

Childminders have to have this by law, but I always explain to parents that, in a genuine life-threatening emergency, the hospital are not going to bother about insignificant little me waving my flimsy bit of signed paper smile

Nannylookingforafamily Sat 18-Jul-15 21:02:08

I took a child with suspected meningitis to A&E and they wouldn't treat him with antibiotics untill they got hold of his mum on the phone or she arrived

Callaird Sun 19-Jul-15 22:18:34

I took my charge to A&E last Tuesday with breathing difficulties (he gets a viral wheeze when he has a bad cold and we have Ventolin to give him then but it wasn't making a difference) he was fine in himself but his stomach was distending on each breath. The doctor and I gave him salbutamol inhaler, and he said that my boss could sign the papers giving consent when she arrived.

It took her nearly an hour to get to the hospital and the doctor and I gave him 40 puffs of salbutamol in that time.

I'm very surprised at Nannylookingforafamily's story, I would think treating the child is paramount.

I've also taken twins to the hospital with bird flu, they were both given 60mls of a calpol equivalent and 50mls of ibuprofen which scared the living day lights out of me and I was so pleased when MB arrived!!

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 20-Jul-15 08:26:27

Have always had a simple letter stating that I'm the child's nanny and parents give me their full permission for any medical attention if they can't not be contacted

Theas18 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:30:27

For routin stuff parental consent is needed. For emergency treatment it is done in th child's best interest same as if an adult was unable to give consent.

AmyGDalae Fri 24-Jul-15 21:43:41

I was caring for a child who ended up in resus and was then blue lighted to specialist pardiatric intensive care in the middle of the night. I could not get hold of parents.

A&E made all decisions about immediate life saving treatment, but after we had been in PICU for a few hours the staff there decided that I would not be allowed to stay with child. They said that no relatives other than parents (who were still uncontactable) would be allowed to be there as no legal documents were in place. They explained that letters, etc were NOT sufficient.

It eventually got sorted out once parents were reached the next day and was able to stay with child in PICU until parents arrived back and took over.

CharlieCoCo Fri 24-Jul-15 22:21:35

how sad that they couldn't let you stay with the child, who obviously knew you and was alone. i know they have guidelines, but surely its the childs best interests to be with someone they know than alone, waiting for parents.

AmyGDalae Fri 24-Jul-15 22:37:30

charlie agreed. Though to be fair to them child was on life support and not conscious at this point. It was absolutely awful leaving them there alone. In the end I got to go back a few hours later that morning, but when they told me I had to go I didn't know when I would finally get hold of parents (it had been about ten hours at that point) and I was terrified that child would be alone.

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