Medicines in schools: a cross-sectional survey of children, parents, teachers and health professionals

Bellis, Jennifer Ruth, Arnott, Janine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8512-7550, Barker, Catrin, Prescott, Rebecca, Dray, Oliver, Peak, Matthew and Bracken, Louise (2017) Medicines in schools: a cross-sectional survey of children, parents, teachers and health professionals. BMJ Paediatrics Open, 1 (1). e000110.

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To describe how individual schools manage medicines and strategies for implementation of guidance, to determine the nature of problems perceived by children, parents, teachers and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in relation to medicines management in schools and to highlight differences between these perceptions. A cross-sectional survey study in which questionnaires were completed by children, their parents and carers, groups of HCPs and head teachers. There were 158 respondents to this survey. The management of medicines varies between schools and this reflects how policy guidance is interpreted and is revealed by the differences in experience described. Head teachers acknowledge that there is a lack of expertise about medicines among their staff and they rely on interpretation of and adherence to policy and procedure and compliance with training was used as a measure of good medicines management. There are inconsistencies in how information about medicines is communicated between the healthcare team, families and schools, and there is evidence that this communication is not always timely or effective. This results in problems with medicines at school. Parents emphasised the need for staff at school to understand their child's condition and their medicines. There are differences between how individual schools manage medicines and interpret policy guidance and discrepancies between the views of each stakeholder group. There is some evidence that medicines management does not always meet the needs of children and their families. Fewer than half of parents and HCPs are satisfied with how medicines are dealt with in schools.

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