70% school staff expected to administer medicines

Unison/CPHVA is warning that expecting teaching assistants and support staff to carry out complex medical procedures on children is an accident waiting to happen.

A survey by the union found that more than 70% of teaching assistants and school support staff are expected to administer medicines for conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart conditions and to complete complex medical procedures, including changing colostomy bags and tube feeding children.

Unison/CPHVA is calling for an urgent review of the types of medical procedures taking place in schools. It suggests national protocols should be drawn up in consultation with education and health professionals, as well as unions representing those staff.

Many staff reported feeling a moral pressure to give medical support but only had routine first aid training.

Christina McAnea, Unison head of education, said: ‘We are bound to see a serious incident if schools don’t get the help they need to manage children’s special medical needs.’


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