Crackdown on medicines in West Lothian schools

West Lothian Council logo
West Lothian Council logo

Procedures for handling medicines in schools have been tightened, following a critical report by council auditors last year.

And fears that controlled drugs had gone missing have been allayed after a track and trace investigation. All drugs were accounted for through changed dosages. Schools had not filled in the relevant paperwork or kept a running total  so there was no trace of numbers or dosage, Alison  Raeburn,  an education service manager,  reported  to West Lothian Council’s Audit Committee.

“Procedures on health care in schools have been revised and staff training will take place in June, ready for August implementation,” she added.

Councillor Damian Timson, Tory Group leader, said: “There does appear to be an improvement.” 

He  pointed out that controlled drugs including methylphenidate were highly desirable on the street and asked what measures were put in place to ensure correct storage and usage.

Ms Raeburn said in the schools where there had been issues “there was no loss of any tablets.”

The correct number was found by counting back. The schools did not comply with procedure by not keeping a running total.

She added that in another instance where there was no witness signature the administration of medication had in fact been witnessed  but the paperwork had not been completed.

Both committee chairman, Councillor Chris Horne and Council leader Councillor Lawrence Fitzpatrick, aired concerns about parental compliance with the procedures including parents ensuring up to date medications were supplied to schools.

Part of the improved procedures focuses on greater communication with parents.

Ms Raeburn said: “There has been an extensive amount of discussion with schools since August about the importance of compliance and we continue to have practice events and discussion with schools.”