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Over the counter medicines (non-prescription)

*** In March 2018 NHS England published guidance to CCGs regarding conditions for which over the counter (OTC)items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. In support of this guidance, schools and early years settings should be fully aware that OTC medicines do not need an Appropriate Practitioner’s prescription, signature or authorisation in order for a school, nursery or child minder to give them, provided that there is written permission to administer the medicine from the parent or carer.

Over the counter medicines, e.g. hay-fever treatments, cough/cold remedies should be treated in the same way as prescription medication. Schools should ensure that parents have provided written permission/consent for staff to administer the OTC medicine and check that the:

Medication is in date.
Manufacturers’ instructions on the medicine are in line with what is being requested.
Child’s name is written on the OTC medicine container.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licenses medicines and classifies them when appropriate as OTC, based on their safety profiles. This is to enable access to those medicines without recourse to a GP, and the classification applies to both inside and outside the educational environment.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has stated that it is a misuse of GP time to take up an appointment just to acquire a prescription for a medicine wholly to satisfy the needs of a nursery or school.

A letter from Birmingham and Solihull CCG to head teachers requesting the above changes be made to practice can be found here. The bulletin referred to can be accessed here. Consent forms on these webpages have been updated accordingly. ***

Other remedies, including herbal preparations, should not be accepted for administration in school/setting.