Managing medical conditions in schools

Letter to headteacher on managing medical conditions in schools policy – Gary Redhead 23 May 2019 (pdf)
Letter sent by email on 23 May 2019 to Ealing primary, high and special schools about the sample audit of schools and survey. Please read and action as appropriate.

It is a statutory requirement for all schools to have a policy that makes clear the arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions.

Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school guidance (GOV.UK)
Statutory guidance about support that pupils with medical conditions should receive at school.

Policy and supporting documents

Revised Ealing supporting pupils with medical conditions in schools policy. (Based on the Department for Education (DfE) guidance Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions in Schools 2014).

The policy was consulted on with schools, health professionals and other related stakeholders before being endorsed by the Ealing Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB). In addition to the policy there are also a number of supporting documents below:

The local authority is recommending that all governing boards (GBs) review this policy according to their specific needs before adopting. It should not be adopted ‘wholesale’ without reviewing to make sure it is fit for purpose and that provision for any training or role related changes are planned for and implemented. We request that this happens by the end of autumn 2018.

School checklist – baseline of current provision

As part of the policy, appendix one contains a useful checklist to ascertain the school’s current provision and future needs. To assess the impact of this policy we would be grateful if you have not already completed the medical conditions survey to do so by the end of summer 2019 term.

The results of the survey will be used to assess how well the policy is being implemented across the borough, as well as informing future updates of the policy and the training and support we are able to arrange. We would like to share individual school responses to the survey with the school nursing service. The purpose of doing so would be to inform discussions at their annual partnership meeting with schools in the autumn term. Should you not want to share these with the service please email governors@ealing.gov.uk.

Resources and guidance

Update on availability of adrenaline autoinjectors

Emerade pens failing to activate: MHRA alert - 3 October 2019 (GOV.UK)
Please note the above notification from The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulation Authority (MHRA).

Action for schools
All schools should consider assessing which adrenaline autojectors are prescribed and held by pupils in their school. If pupils at the school are prescribed and hold Emerade pens, schools should consider holding a non-personalised supply of adrenaline autojectors (in line with the Using emergency adrenaline auto-injectors in schools guidance (GOV.UK) in case of device failures of pens that pupils may be carrying.

There is NO requirement for pens to be recalled and the advice for patients is to continue to follow existing advice to carry 2 in-date pens with them at all times.

See also MHRA additional information for patients and carers (see pages 4 and 5) (pdf)

Update on supply situation/restrictions from manufacturers affecting the EpiPen - May 2019:

  • Latest advice on Epipen availability - April 2019 (EpiPen website)
  • Emerade: No supply problems currently
  • Jext: No supply problems currently. They have a single wholesale agreement with Alliance Healthcare, customers can place orders via Alliance normally.

Department of Health and Social Care - EpiPen shortage and guidance (pdf)

Department of Health and Social Care guidance on using alternative devices and and the use of EpiPen's after their expiry dates (pdf)

The above guidance from children’s allergy experts is now subject to the following updates:

  • During this period of reduced supply, 300mcg (the same as 0.3mg) of adrenaline can be prescribed to children weighing 25kg or above, even where the pen might state 30kg or above; and
  • In the event of anaphylaxis during this shortage period, if a child has no in-date pen, an out of date pen can be used. Using an out-of-date pen might give a lower dose of adrenaline but it is better to use an out of date pen than wait for an ambulance to arrive.

NHS letter to parents affected by the EpiPen shortage (pdf)

Anaphylaxis resources

Free online anaphylaxis training course AllergyWise for Schools is designed to ensure that key staff in schools are fully aware of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, how to provide emergency treatment and the implications for management of severely allergic children from Key Stages 1 to 5 in an education setting.

Anaphylaxis campaign schools allergy awareness resource pack - presentation 1 (June 2018 - pdf)

Anaphylaxis campaign schools allergy awareness rescource pack - persentation 2 (June 2018 - pdf)

Asthma: School guidance (pdf)

Asthma toolkit (Healthy London website)

Asthma online course - (Supporting children’s health website) - helping you support children who have asthma.

Bladder and Bowel guidance (ERIC - Children's bowel and bladder charity website)

Diabetes schools’ guidance (Health London website)

Emergency Inhalers and Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (AAIs) (GOV, pdf)

Epilepsy schools’ guidance (Health London website)

Young Epilepsy guide for schools (Young Epilepsy website)
Free online guide for schools on supporting young people with epilepsy - Includes information on seizure first aid, epilepsy’s impact on learning and behaviour and the key elements of support that should be in place at school.

Food allergy free online training (Food Standards Agency) - Catering providers and catering staff can study the modules and pass the tests to gain a continuing professional development (CPD) certificate.

Food allergen information (GOV.UK) - Allergen information and downloadable posters for schools.

MindEd (Mind website)- a free educational resource on children and young people's mental health for all adults.

Specialist toileting needs guidance in early years and schools (pdf)
Guidance from Early Start Ealing to assist leaders and managers in fulfilling their legal responsibilities in meeting the needs of children who require additional toileting support.

Referral to school nursing service

You can refer children and young people with any health related issues requiring support to the school nursing service. Note: this requires consent from parents and or carers. Download the school nurse referral form (word). Complete and email via secure systems - eg Egress - to the Ealing school nursing service clcht.ealingschoolnurseteam@nhs.net.

Contacts

For further information contact:

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Last updated: 28 Oct 2019