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5.5.1 First Aid and Medication

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in foster care and residential care managed by the authority, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Children Looked After are placed with parents or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was reviewed and amended in July 2017 to confirm that all placements should keep comprehensive records of any drugs, medication or ‘remedies’ administered to a child.


Contents

  1. Home Remedies 
  2. First Aid 
  3. Prescribed Medication 
  4. Disposal of Medication/Drugs 
  5. Monitoring and Notifications/Foster Care
  6. Recording


1. Home Remedies

Home remedies should be considered in each young person's risk assessment.

Home Remedies are medicines, suitable for children, which can be bought ‘over the counter’ without prescription, including Paracetamol. Staff and carers providing children and young people with medication should always exercise caution. If, for example they have any reason to believe that a young person has already taken some form of medication and/or drug, they should obtain medical advice before providing a home remedy.

Aspirin

Although Aspirin may be purchased ‘over the counter’, without prescription; it may not be given to children unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Other Home Remedies

The Home Remedies that are approved to be given to children are listed in First Aid, Home Remedies and Prescribed Medicines Guidance - to follow which also provides guidance on their use. 

Any Home Remedies kept in the home must be stored safely in a locked cabinet unless the manager or the child’s social worker has agreed, following a risk assessment, that a child may retain and administer them. Staff and Carers must retain the keys for the cabinet. In the event of a young person refusing to give staff access to medication that they have been allowed to retain, the risk assessment should be reviewed.

If children are permitted to retain their own medicines, it should be stated in their Placement Plan and suitable arrangements should be in place for storage and recording by the child.

However, these Home Remedies should only be given to a child with appropriate Consent or having consulted the child’s GP to ensure that no adverse reactions may result.

No other Home Remedies, other than those listed in First Aid, Home Remedies and Prescribed Medicines Guidance - to follow, may be given to children without the written authorisation of a medical practitioner.

Home Remedies, other than Paracetamol, should only be given for a maximum of 48 hours. If the symptoms persist beyond that time the child should see a medical practitioner before further dosages are given. However, if Paracetamol is given for 24 hours and the symptoms still persist, the child should see a medical practitioner before further dosages are given.

Where children are not deemed to be capable of administering Home Remedies themselves, care must be taken to ensure they consume the product as required, in the presence of a carer.

Arrangements must exist in the home for regular stock checks to be undertaken of the Home Remedies kept there; and for the disposal of those no longer in use or out of date.

All medication administered to a child must be clearly recorded by the staff/carer, detailing the time and date and exact medication given.


2. First Aid

Fully equipped First Aid boxes must be kept in each home and in the case of children's homes, each vehicle used to carry children. (This is good practice in relation to foster carers).

Children may administer their own First Aid if they have a suitable First Aid certificate or under the supervision of a member of staff or carer.

If children are not deemed to be capable of administering First Aid to themselves or under supervision, it must be administered by a member of staff or carer.

Any first aid administered to a child must be clearly recorded by the staff/carer, detailing the time and date and exact treatment given.


3. Prescribed Medication

Prescribed medicines must be stored safely in a locked cabinet unless the child’s social worker or manager has agreed following a risk assessment that a child may retain and administer those prescribed for them.

Staff/carers must retain the keys for the cabinet.

If children are permitted to retain their own medicines, it should be stated in the Placement Plan and suitable arrangements should be in place for storage and recording by the child.

In any case, prescribed medicines should be kept in their original containers, clearly marked with the name of the person for whom they have been prescribed; and they should only be given to the named person, as prescribed or set out on the container.

Arrangements must exist in the home for regular checks to be undertaken of any medication kept in the home; and for the disposal of those no longer in use or out of date.

All medication administered to a child must be clearly recorded by the staff/carer, detailing the time and date and exact medication given.


4. Disposal of Medication/Drugs

Even if children are permitted to retain and administer their own First Aid, Home Remedies or Prescribed Medicines, arrangements must exist in the home for undertaking regular checks of these items and arranging for their disposal as necessary.

Where medication is stopped before completion of prescribed courses or becomes out of date, it should be disposed of in a manner agreed with a pharmacist or taken to a pharmacist for disposal; a receipt obtained and a record of the disposal made. 

Medication should not be disposed of in other ways, unless agreed with a Pharmacist.


5. Monitoring and Notifications in Children's Homes/Foster Care

The manager of a children's home and fostering service must ensure that arrangements exist for monitoring Home Remedies, First Aid or Prescribed Medicines given to children, and that these and other related health care procedures are adhered to.

There is a duty to notify the children’s social worker, the fostering service and the regulatory body in the event of serious injuries, accident, diseases or illnesses.


6. Recording

Where children are permitted to retain and administer their own First Aid, Home Remedies or Prescribed Medicines, the staff/carers must record instances when this occurs in the child’s Daily Record.

In all homes, whether it be a residential home and or foster carers homes, comprehensive records should be kept of any administered drugs, whether home remedies, prescribed and or bought over the counter.

End