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so today we had a written complaint regarding a child not having his medication (staff forgot to give it). mum collected and none of the staff in the room claimed to know if child had or had not had medication.

so i looked at ongoing medication form to find it had not been filled in for the last week (child attends two days and has medication daily) ~ only senior staff give medication, that being myself, deputy and senior... i have never given the medication to him as deputy normally does it... the staff in his room get deputy each day to give it to him,... only this did not happen on this particular day....


so obviously angry mum that medication is not given (consequences of not giving medication can be potentially fatal)... and angry me because form has not been filled in for previous administration of medication.... and staff all appear to know absoloutly nothing about whether this child has or has not had medication today


i spoke with deputy yesterday to ask her why medication form had not been signed for the last week.... she claims she did not give it on one occassion but senior did, senior claims she did not give it (apparently neither staff can recall who witnessed it, since both are denying giving it) eputy admits to giving it once and not signing the form because no one brought it to her, i stressed that we should not give medication without the form but she really did not seem bothered.


I had a meeting with mum today, apologised and explained that systems have been reviewed and all staff concerned have been spoken to... mum is happy with this, but due to the nature has decided to make a complaint to ofsted, which is obviously not great for us....


so i have documented everything discussed between all concerned, ... what else should i be doing.....


also i need to talk to my deputy because she seemed not bothered that the form had not been signed, she really could not see the issue in it, even tho signing of all forms was raised in our last staff meeting.......


so how would you deal with this situation if it was you....



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This happened in my last nursery - funnily enough with my deputy too. Investigtion meetings were held with all staff, but unfortunately my seniors did not support me on taking it any further. If it happened in my current nursery, then investigation meetings would be held, and I would then consider taking it to disciplinary action, e.g. warnings, etc.


As you say, it is a very serious issue. You need to know that it will never happen again, as next time the child may not be so lucky.

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Hi Dawn

Have you completed a complaints form? You can find a link to it here.

I would be very worried if my deputy had such an attitude. Medication records are such a vital necessity and so is ensuring that staff know who should be administering it. We have decided to have a named person to give medicines then there is no room for error. That way nobody can duplicate and nobody can say I thought somebody else was doing it.

I think you should at least be looking to all staff sitting down together and drawing up procedures to ensure this never happens again.

At the end of the day you need to have peace of mind that your staff are doing their job responsibly and not putting children's lives at risk.


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I'm afraid i'd be giving a darned good rollicking to all concerned on this....and telling them it's no good trying to pass the buck either.If this child had suffered serious consequences as a result of non -medication, then how on earth would they have lived with themselves? And for one of them to say she didn't sign the form because no-one brought it to her, is almost beyond belief.I would warn them all in no uncertain terms that any future lapses could lead to instant dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct.........but make sure that ALL correct systems are in place.I don't know what Ofsted will have to say, but honestly, under the circumstances, this lot deserve whatever comes their way.Make sure you document all the circumstances and can show how this will not happen again and you comply with all satndards on such matters.I think if you can shgow that you have covered all bases, they will probably be ok, but you need to show that you are certain there will be no repeat of it.

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i agree with Narnia and i would have both staff in a meeting so that they couldnt pass the buck to each other!!!!!!! Ensure it goes into the complaints book or form and from now on only have one member of staff administer the medicine - good luck :o

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fully endorse all of above comments.

As a parent of a severely asthmatic child- although we don't know what the medication was for in this instance- the whole programme of wellness if you like, depends on regular medication. Without this, my son can dip very very quickly with potentially fatal consequences.


I would be absolutely livid and would certainly want to see somebody taken to task over this. I would probably reconsider my arrangements if I were not satisfied with responses I was given.


I am a teacher by day! so can see both sides. Not giving medication is just a massive no no as far as I am concerned.

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I think if I were either member of staff I wouldn't want to be responsible for giving the child medication again - whether it was me who made the mistake, or if I was being given a dressing down for something that wasn't my fault. Mind you, I don't suppose they'll make the same mistake twice.


Doesn't the parent have to sign the form whenever medication has been given? In any legal dispute arising out of the giving or not giving of medication, without a parent's signature to confirm they have been told of the dosage given etc, your group may be in a difficult position.


It sounds as though correct procedures haven't been followed, and that the system doesn't facilitate checking that medication has been given - presumably this will come out of your investigation into what happened and then you can make changes if necessary to ensure this can't happen again.


There are obviously implications here for teamworking too - passing the buck isn't a good sign and you would have so much more respect if they just held up their hands and admitted it was their fault. Everyone makes mistakes - its part of being human. The trick is to make systems foolproof so that if someone forgets it is picked up by someone - especially as the results of medication not being given are so dangerous for the child.


One other thing: do you think the staff really understand why they are giving medication and the importance of it or are they just embarrassed at being found out? I'm sure Mrs Ofsted will want to know if you are planning any re-training for all staff in the light of what has happened.


Good luck - I hope it resolves itself soon.



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I think you will need to ensure that your medication forms show;


what the medication is....and what it is for;

how often it is to be given;

at what times it is to be given;(this will clear up any doubt )

what time parent administered last dose prior to child arriving at setting;

signature of staff who gave it and confirmation of amount given; signature of another member of staff witnessing that medication was given;(shared responsibility and back up in case of disputes)

signature of parent to show they have seen the form and agree that the medication WAS given,

you keep the form in your files...........if parent needs a copy, give them one, but you keep hold of the original.

I'm sure i have forgotten something, but others will suggest things, i'm sure!!


we also have a rule that we will not give 'new' medication to a child..........that is, if they have never had this particular medicine, the parent will need to administer the first 24 hours worth, in case of any adverse reaction to it (you don't want a reaction to it to happen in your care!), this effectively means the child has to stay home for a day, but if they need the medication, they're probably too ill to attend your setting anyway.Good luck.

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Some very sound advice already.


Do you have the publication 'Managing medicines in Early Years Settings?' It is a comprehensive guide with all relevant forms.


Have all documents ready for the Inspector, including the minutes of the staff meeting where this was discussed (as mentioned) ad consequant discussions with staff minuted.

I would also have the person who was responsible (deputy?), with you when Ofsted interview you about this, this will help her see and experience another consequance (Ofsted investigation) of the lack of diligance.


Hopefully all will benefit from this experience, to have clearer systems in place and clear consequences of not following procedures known by all.

I would also write a clear explanation to the parent describing the procedural changes that have been made, including the need for her to sign each time medication has been given.




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:o ooo dear, sorry to hear that your staff have not been efficient, I am a deputy and part of my roll is to undertake any duty that my supervisor delegates but more importantly I done training and I understood the importance of it and that recording all this,signature and witnesses were all part of caring for a child. So really both are to blame because neither of them carried out what they should have done. I agree with Narnia that you need to have a meeting both together and really possibly consider displinary as you state you already had a meeting regarding this and so therefore they already knew.

Ofsted will want to see how you dealt with this situation so therefore you need to make sure that you have covered yourself.

ARe you committee run, nursery? as if you are committee then you could get the chairperson to be in on the meeting. You should not be expected to do it yourself.


I am honest I never forgot a medicine but once the medicine had a due time and I was late, but I immediately done it and then filled in forms and informed the parent. They were ok about this, so again building the partnership with parent is also the importance of it all and the trust they have in you.

Let us know how you get on

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All good advice.... records kept of al converstaions with staff parents meetings..cannot keep too much evidence.

Also perhaps an action plan put in place stating where it went wrong and what willbe done in future to rectify it/ensure it will not hppen again.


told / asked your early years advisors too for help?



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Just a practical sugestion. We all know the importance of sticking to the written procedure but at times during a busy morning things do slip. We used a timer set in a prominent place which was set at the same time as the medicine was received/signed for. Just another prompt in a busy workplace.

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We only administer prescribed medication and parents complete the relevant paperwork on arrival. Usually it is a case of a child needing antibiotics around 12midday - we put a highlighted 'MEDICINE' label on the child's lunchbox. Admittedly we are a small preschool and it may not be much help to larger settings or for older children who open their own lunchboxes but it works well as an extra reminder for us :o

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HI Dawn


A bit late in replying but hope it’s of some help. There has been some great advice here and a good source of learning to be had by all. I personally would like to add that you need to have written factual statements from all involved. You need accountability here, someone has to take responsibility. Read all statements and pick them apart for errors. You need to treat this as a worst case scenario to help them all learn from this and to satisfy ofsted that you have taken measures to prevent it happening again. If it were me as their manager I would be handing out some verbal/written warnings as this is negligence on their part and could, as you have said, resulted in a death of a child. The blasé attitude indicates that they think this is not a big deal and by making this investigation firm and handing out warnings may help them understand the consequences of their actions (or lack of!) Bearing in mind that when Ofsted investigate it will be recorded on your next inspection for all to see.

Good Luck here

Shelly X

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