We aim to provide our patients with the highest quality of care and support. You may have been asked by your school to provide a prescription for over-the-counter medication as the school will not administer such medication unless it is prescribed by a GP.
We would like to clarify that GPs would not normally prescribe simple OTC medications for any patient, including children, and a doctor’s prescription should not therefore be required before administering such medicines to a child.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licenses all medicines and classifies them as OTC when it considers it safe and appropriate that they may be used without a prescription. It is therefore appropriate for OTC medicines to be given or authorized by parents when they consider it necessary. This may be in a home, nursery, or school environment.
At Station Road Surgery, we believe that it would be a misuse of GP time to provide an appointment for a child with the sole purpose of acquiring a prescription for an OTC medicine to satisfy the ruling of a nursery or school.
We would like to refer to the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – effective April 2017, which identifies current national standards for day care and childminding from birth to five. This framework states that non-prescription medication can be administered if the parent has given prior written consent for the administration of any medication. Providers must keep a written record each time a medicine is administered to a child and inform the child’s parents and/or carers on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.
Schools should set out the circumstances in which non-prescription medicines may be administered. A child under 16 should never be given medicine containing aspirin unless prescribed by a doctor. Medication, e.g., for pain relief, should never be administered without first checking maximum dosages and when the previous dose was taken. Parents should be informed.
We hope that this clarifies the situation regarding the unnecessary request for a doctor’s prescription for OTC (i.e., non-prescription) medicines. At Station Road Surgery, we are committed to supporting our patients in the best way possible, and we are always here to help with any concerns or questions that you may have.