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Medical needs

Severe and complex medical needs including a life-threatening diagnosis or condition

Strategies and approaches:

  • Ensure that you have the equipment that you need, e.g. support equipment such as lockable medicine cabinets, first aid bags, fridge. Some medications such as inhalers, blood glucose testing and adrenaline pens should be immediately available.
  • Ensure that transition arrangements have been put into place prior to the child’s entry to the setting. This would include:
    • Ensuring that the necessary adaptations are in place.
    • Have a good understanding of any documents related to managing medical needs in the setting.
    • Ensure health care plans and / or other documentation are regularly updated, shared with and are accessible to appropriate staff.
    • Accessing training prior to transition, such as rotated medication, care training, or manual handling.
    • Consider how you establish and maintain good communication links with parent carers and how you share information in a timely manner.
    • Identifying what additional support may be required e.g. diet, toileting,  use of equipment, cooking, mealtimes and to take part in outings.
  • Make sure you feel supported and equipped to support the child, their family and your class through any losses. For example, by discussing with your SENCO/lead professional or having accessed bereavement training or policies.
  • Review and update individual support plans (Health & Care Plan and or risk management plan) with your SENCO to ensure that they reflect the level of need being presented and are informative for other members of staff (cover teachers, for example).
  • It may also be helpful to discuss use of ICT equipment with your SENCO to support communication and learning.
  • Provide achievable opportunities for the child to experience success and be as independent as possible. Provide scaffolding to enable the child to take part in paired or small group work, or give the child the opportunity, where appropriate, to be involved in managing their own health needs.
  • Consider fatigue levels and how these impact on the child’s ability to engage. Make plans for rest and sleep as required.
  • Ensure understanding of how medical conditions can impact on the child’s ability to learn.
  • Consider how you could promote regular contact with the home when / if a child is not in the setting, to maintain a ‘sense of belonging’ with peers and the setting community.
  • Absence from provision due to medical needs may require a reintegration plan to address learning gaps and support the child to feel safe and secure. This should be considered as part of the child’s individual plan.
  • Consider the impact of not being able to achieve attendance rewards / certificates (if used) on children who have various medical appointments. Find ways of ensuring they can be rewarded for attending school whenever possible.
  • Ensure advice from medical professionals is recorded along with support received in the child’s individual support plan. This will need to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Last updated 3 November 2021

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