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How to safely administer medication in schools 2024

Child been given his medication
How to safely administer medication in schools 2024 | Medical Tracker

Whether it’s Calpol or long-term medication, it is essential school staff are confident with medical procedures in schools. This blog covers guidelines on medication policies, what to do when you’re on a school trip and administering medication in EYFS.

Medication policy for schools

When it comes to administering medicines in schools, it is important for every school to have a clear medication policy in place. This policy should outline the procedures and protocols that need to be followed when administering medicines to students.

It should cover:

  • Who is responsible for the policy and the implementation
  • How the policy will be implemented across the school
  • Detail about procedures for responding to a new medical condition
  • How Individual Health Care Plans are used across the school
  • Staff roles and responsibilities
  • Staff medical Continued Professional Development (CPD) plans
  • Routines if a pupil is able to self-administer medication
  • Advice on storing and handling medicines
  • Emergency first aid procedures (IHCPs will detail the emergency procedure for the pupil)
  • Explanation of reasonable adjustments that will be made to ensure pupils with medical conditions participate in school trips
  • Information on handling complaints

By having a comprehensive medication policy, schools can create a safe and supportive environment for students who require medication administration during school hours.

Create IHCPs for pupils with medical conditions

For students with medical conditions that require regular medication administration, it is essential to create Individual Healthcare Plans (IHCPs). IHCPs are personalised plans that outline a student’s specific medical needs and provide guidance on how to manage their condition. These plans should be developed in collaboration with the student’s parents or guardians, healthcare professionals, and school staff.

You can create IHCPs on Medical Tracker, which stores all pupil health and medical information in one secure place.

The IHCP should include details about the student's medical condition, the prescribed medications, dosages, and administration instructions. It should also outline any specific precautions or emergency procedures that need to be followed. By having an IHCP in place, schools can ensure that the student's medical needs are met and that they receive the necessary support and care throughout the school day.

It is important for schools to regularly review and update the IHCPs to accommodate any changes in the student's medical condition or medication requirements. This ensures that the plans remain relevant and effective in meeting the student's needs.

Care plan for student

Administering medication on a school trip

Who doesn't love a trip to the zoo? When supporting a pupil with a medical condition, extra precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the students. Prior to the trip, schools should obtain written consent from the parents or guardians for administering any necessary medication during the trip (you can do this online with Medical Tracker). Parental consent also applies to emergency medication such as asthma inhalers and AAI (Epi-Pens).

School staff responsible for administering medication should be properly trained and familiar with the medication procedures. They should have access to the necessary medications, as well as any emergency equipment or supplies that may be required. It is important to have a designated storage area for medications during the trip, ensuring that they are stored securely and at the appropriate temperature.

If the class has a different supporting adult than usual, ensure they are suitably trained and confident to administer any medication necessary. It can be useful to ensure the pupil who may require additional medical support is monitored throughout the trip, possibly placing them into the 'group' or section with the medical support assistant.

If any incidents occur during the school trip, teachers can input medical incidents using online first aid software on a mobile device.

Record of medication administered

Recording medication administration

Accurate and thorough recording of medication administration is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of students. Schools should establish an effective system for recording medication administration (this can be paper-based or using online software) that includes important details such as the student's name, medication name, dosage, time of administration, and the name of the staff member who administered the medication.

It is important to keep these records confidential and easily accessible to authorised personnel due to GDPR requirements and to ensure the school follows best practices. In the case of an emergency, staff can download 'emergency ambulance' information to print and give to the paramedics. This can help to ensure life-saving information is shared across all who are supporting the pupil.

In addition to recording medication administration, it is also important to maintain regular communication with parents or guardians. Schools should inform parents or guardians about any changes in medication administration or any observations or concerns regarding the student's response to the medication. This open line of communication ensures that parents are kept informed and can provide any necessary updates or instructions. If a medication dosage changes, allowing parents to update this information using online systems can save time and ensure the correct medical information is always known by the school.

Want to learn more about how to take the hassle out of tracking administered medication? Book a demo with one of our team today.

Medicines in the early years

For EYFS settings like nurseries, it is important to follow your medication administration policy when giving even non-prescribed medications.

Detailed in the EYFS statutory framework, EYFS settings must:

  • Have a clear policy and procedures to follow when administering medication
  • Only administer medication when they have a prescription from a medical professional and have written parental permission
  • Record every time a medicine is given to a child (you can do this on Medical Tracker)
  • Notify the parents that medicine has been given as soon as practically possible or definitely on the same day

By following these guidelines, schools can ensure the safe and effective administration of medications to young children in the early years and across schools.

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