First Aid, Homely Remedies and Medication


  1. First Aid
  2. Homely Remedies
  3. Key First Aid and Medication Records held in the Home

    Appendix 1: Administration of Medication Guidance

    Appendix 2: Specific Issues re Administration of Medication

    Appendix 3: Administration Away from the Home

    Appendix 4: Skilled Health Tasks

    Appendix 5: Guidance: Intentional Overdose

1. First Aid

Each home must have a qualified First Aider on duty at all times.

First Aid boxes should have a white cross with a green background must be held in each home and should be carried in each of the vehicles used for the transportation of children.

Each box has an inventory that must include the full quantity of each item stipulated in the box. When an item has been used, then it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Recording: Each child should have permission for staff to administer first aid and non-prescription medication from a person with Parental Responsibility for them recorded in the relevant plan. Permission should be sought and arranged by the child’s social worker.

Within some of the complex needs homes, a copy of home remedy consent is filed within the child’s individual file under the safe guarding section.

The administration of First Aid must be recorded in the First Aid Log, Accident Book (if there has been an accident), individual child's Daily Record and Medication Administration Record (MAR).

2. Homely Remedies

Homely Remedies are medicines that can be bought over the counter, including Paracetamol*, aspirin, homeopathic, herbal, aromatherapy, vitamin supplements or alternative therapies.

Homely Remedies can only be used by the young people in the home with the approval of relevant social workers (as set out in children's Placement Plans) and / or parents, with the advice of a pharmacist or as prescribed by a GP.

A local Pharmacist can be contacted to offer advice on any medication matters.

Homely Remedies should be purchased for a named individual child.

When a Homely Remedy container is opened, staff should record the date of opening to ensure it is not kept beyond its expiry date.

No child may be permitted to 'self-administer' Homely Remedies unless approved by their social worker, with the arrangements outlined in the Placement Plan.

Recording: The administration of any Homely Remedies must be recorded in individual child's Daily Record and Medication Administration Record (MAR).

*Paracetamol must not be given for more than 2 consecutive days without the approval of a GP/Medical Practitioner.

When administering Paracetamol staff must be aware of any other medications prescribed or illegal substances recently taken. Advice must be sought from a Pharmacist.

There is a recognised need for homes to be able to treat minor ailments without necessarily consulting with a child / young person's General Practitioner or a Pharmacist. When considering the use of homely remedies only those identified on the recommended homely consent list may be used.

N.B. Any homely remedies (with the exception of Vaseline/lypsyl l for chapped lips, Vitamin supplements as per government guidance) administered to a child/young person must not be given for any longer than 48 hours, after which time the child/young person's Pharmacist, General Practitioner or other health professional must be contacted for further advice.

When considering homely remedies, careful thought should be given to the possible contra-indications relating to other medications being taken by the child/young person and appropriate consultation with the General Practitioner or a pharmacist completed and recorded in the child’s Health Record. The only exception to this 48 hour period is if a medical practitioner (GP, dentist, doctor, or surgeon) has advised the use of a homely medication (for example painkillers) for a longer period of time or as a PRN treatment, but has not provided a prescription. In such circumstances staff must seek clarity as to how long treatment should continue. This should be recorded clearly in the young person’s health records. Staff should also follow any advice as to when further consultation may be required if a condition persists or deteriorates. Attention is needed to added ingredients for those young people with certain religious observances or food choices such as vegetarianism.

Consent for administering homely remedies should be gained from the following:-

  • Social Worker; and / or
  • Parent.

Homely medication MUST NOT be given to any child/young person already taking medication without prior consultation with the Pharmacist or General Practitioner. This consultation MUST be recorded in the child/young person's Health Record.

Click here to see the Consent Form for Commonly Used Homely Remedies

2.1 Rainbow House Short Breaks Unit Homely Remedies

Rainbow House has a homely remedies cupboard which is located in the Medication Room. This contains common over the counter medication which we keep on site in case a young person requires it. Each homely remedy has a stock balance sheet which must be completed whenever a dose is administered. Homely remedies are monthly stock checked by the deputy manager.

This must then be recorded on a new MAR for the young person and placed in the individual medication folder however this won’t need booking out at the end of placement.

The medications we keep are:

  • Calpol SixPlus Suspension;
  • Calpol SixPlus Fastmelt tablets;
  • Paracetamol;
  • Piriton;
  • Cough Linctus;
  • Vaseline;
  • Mild Antiseptic Cream;
  • Elastoplast;
  • Sun cream – Factor 50;
  • Lip balm;
  • Imodium;
  • Sudocream;
  • Lactulose.

These are to be used:

  • Only occasionally and not instead of a young person bringing in their own medication;
  • Only with the permission of parents or carers after discussion with them about the young person’s symptoms;
  • Only if the young person’s symptoms are mild, if the young person is in severe pain or appears unwell, parents will need to collect them and take them home. If we feel the young person requires medical attention, this needs to be recommended to parents;
  • If parents are not contactable and it is considered that the young person requires medical input, contact NHS 111 and follow their advice.

A young person should not continually require homely remedies, if they do, this must be discussed with parents. Medical advice may need to be sought. If homely remedies are given on a school day then school must be informed. Mosaic must be updated with the information that homely remedies have been dispensed and administered and the reasons behind this decision.

Remember: If a young person has severe diarrhoea (which is not normal for them) or vomiting, they must be sent home and cannot return for 48hrs after their last episode. We cannot guarantee sick days can be replaced.  Unless in exceptional circumstances if a young person has an illness or condition which prohibits them from attending school, they equally cannot come to Rainbow House.

Click here to access the Rainbow House Short Breaks Unit Homely Remedies Form

3. Key First Aid and Medication Records held in the Home

Each home should keep the following records:

Record Purpose
First Aid Log (CF50) To record any administration of First Aid
Accident Book (CF50) To record any accidents
Medical Record Individual record for each child, details of health related issues, medication used, name of GP
Medication Administration Record (MAR) Individual record for each child to record any medication (or Home Remedies) administered etc.

3.1 Ordering Ongoing Medication

Some young people will have prescribed medication, which is ongoing. This should be ordered on monthly basis where possible. Responsibility for ordering these medicines is that of the home's manager or a delegated person/member of staff.

When ordering, a note must be made of:

  • The name of the young person;
  • The name, strength, form and quantity of the medicine;
  • The name of the surgery/G.P;
  • When the prescription will be ready.

When ordering, staff should check stock levels before ordering. To minimise wastage and reduce risks of errors, stock levels should be kept to a minimum (No more than six weeks stock to be held at any time).

3.2 Collecting Prescriptions

Staff should collect prescriptions from the GP/surgery and check to make sure that they have received all the prescriptions they have ordered and the quantities are correct before taking to the Pharmacy. If a medicine has directions of 'as directed' or 'as before' then the surgery should be asked to amend the prescription. A photocopy of the prescription should be made and stored until the medicine is received back from the Pharmacy. Staff should check with the Pharmacy as to when the prescriptions will be ready for collection.

3.3 Receiving/Collecting Medicines

Staff must take their ID when collecting medicines or controlled drugs.

When the medicines are collected, staff should check the medicine against the photocopied prescriptions that they have. Any discrepancies should be brought to the attention of the Pharmacy and rectified as soon as possible.

The Pharmacy will be able to give, and advice should be sought upon:

  • Potential side effects;
  • Advice on how the medicine should be taken;
  • Advice on whether the medicine may be affected by any other medicine;
  • Whether the medicine should be stored in the fridge;
  • If the medicine is a controlled drug.

Staff should ensure that the medicine has been properly labelled. If the medicine does not have a dispensing label on it then it should be returned to the Pharmacy. Staff should also make sure that they have received a Patient Information Leaflet from the Pharmacy.

The receipt of medication should be recorded on the individual child's Medication Administration Record (MAR), if a Controlled Drug has been prescribed, 2 staff are required to record/sign the record.

3.4 Administration

NOTE: all staff must be familiar with the following detailed guidance on the administration of medication:

Guidance Required Where to find it
For detailed guidance on the administration of medication Appendix 1: Administration of Medication Guidance
For guidance on specific issues, e.g. refusal to co-operate, if a child is missing/absent, covert administration Appendix 2: Specific Issues re Administration
For the administration of medication away from the home e.g. if a child is on holiday or having contact with his/her parents Appendix 3: Administration Away from the Home
Skilled Health Tasks, e.g. for children with Diabetes Appendix 4: Skilled Health Tasks

Medication should be administered as set out on the label or instructed by the GP/Medical Practitioner.

No child may be permitted to 'self-administer' unless approved by their social worker, with the arrangements outlined in the Placement Plan.

Administration should be recorded on the individual child's Medication Administration Record (MAR), if a Controlled Drug has been administered, 2 staff are required to record/sign the record.

Staff undertake regular medication training as part of mandatory training. Any changes to the child’s medication is communicated appropriately within the homes methods of communication.

3.5 Storage and Expiry Dates

All medicines must be kept in a safe/secure place, e.g. a locked cabinet that does not exceed 25°C. A key to this cabinet should be held by a senior/responsible member of staff on duty.

Medicines that are taken internally should be stored separately to those used externally in the medicine cabinet, with liquids preferably on the bottom shelf.

*Medicines that require refrigerated storage should be kept in either a dedicated lockable fridge (in the staff office) or a locked box inside the food fridge.

All medicines have expiry dates, usually clearly stated on the label, upon expiry, they should be disposed of, see below.

3.6 Disposal

Medication should be disposed of when:

  • The expiry date has been reached;
  • The course of treatment is completed;
  • The medication has been discontinued.

Unless instructed by a GP/Pharmacy, unused/expired medicines should be returned to the pharmacy, and a receipt obtained.

Return or disposal of medication should be recorded on the individual child's Medication Administration Record (MAR), and the receipt attached, if a controlled drug has been disposed of, 2 staff are required to record/sign the record.

Appendix 1: Administration of Medication Guidance

All medicines must be administered strictly in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions (or as advised on the packet in relation to Homely Remedies). Only the prescriber (e.g. GP) can vary the dose. Medicines must be locked away in the locked storage areas when not in use. Before administration, staff should:

  • Wash their hands;
  • Make sure they have a pen and any required record sheets;
  • Enough glasses for each young person receiving medication;
  • A jug of water.

The procedure for administration is as follows:

  • Check the young person’s identity (a photo is normally kept in the young person’s file). Only one young person should be administered medication at a time, this reduces the risk of mistakes being made;
  • Check the young person’s medical profile;
  • Check the medication on the individual medication records corresponds with that on the young person’s medical profile;
  • Check the Individual medication record sheet to ensure that someone else has not already given the medication;
  • Check the expiry date and use by date (where appropriate) on the medication;
  • Check the amount to be given at that time;
  • If opening a new container, add the date;
  • Measure or count the dose without touching the medicine;
  • If the medicine is a solid (such as a tablet) then carefully place into an appropriate container and offer to the young person. They may wish to put it in their hand or swallow straight from the container;
  • If the medicine is a liquid, take care not to drip onto the label. If the amount to be measured is less than 5ml, then use a medicine syringe otherwise use a medicine spoon or measure as preferred by the young person;
  • If the medicine is a cream or ointment, then it should be squeezed directly onto the young person's finger for them to apply. If required to be applied by staff, then latex/pvc gloves must be worn;
  • When administering a controlled drug, a second member of staff, must check the dose prior to it being administered;
  • Watch the young person as they take their medicine to ensure administration is successful;
  • Offer the young person a drink of water (where appropriate);
  • Check that the medication is recorded in all the required records;
  • Print and sign your name against date and time of each medicine administered;
  • Record when medicine has been refused / not taken and the reasons why;
  • If a young person is absent when medication is due - this should be recorded;
  • Do not sign for any medicines that you have not administered or witnessed yourself;
  • If a young person refuses to take medication, under no circumstances should they be forced to do so;
  • Medication must be kept in the original labelled (by the Pharmacy) containers and not put into weekly/daily medical boxes;
  • After administration the medicines should be returned to the cabinet immediately and the cabinet locked;
  • Each time you give medication, remember that it is important to consider the time of administration. Care should be taken to ensure that if the medicine is required to be taken before food, that this is done. Similarly the administration of some medicines such as eye drops or inhalers may not be suitable to be given at meal times. Not all medicine administration times will fall in line with meal times;
  • Within some of the complex needs homes more than one member of staff will take on the role of administering medication.

Appendix 2: Specific Issues re Administration of Medication

Swallowing Problems

Staff may find that some young people may struggle with swallowing their medicines. The young person's G.P should be contacted for an alternative. Under no circumstances should staff take it on themselves to crush tablets without seeking advice from the G.P or Pharmacist. Any advice given should be recorded.

Medication Refusal

When a young person refuses to take their medicine, then the G.P. should be contacted for advice. This information must be recorded and followed. Young people cannot be forced to take their medicines.

If a Young Person is Absent when the Medicine is Due

When a young person is absent and their medication is due, this should be recorded. When the young person returns, then staff must consider the time delay and seek advice if required from the Pharmacist, the G.P or NHS Choices website (as appropriate depending on the time of day). To miss taking a medicine completely can be dangerous depending on the medical condition.

Covert Administration

Covert administration is where a medicine is hidden in food and the person does not know that they are taking it. Staff must not hide any medicine in food or perform any other types of covert administration.

Lone Working

In some homes, staff may be required to work on their own for a period of time. It may be the case that the administration of a medicine will have to happen during this period. Staff should ensure that they double check for themselves and make a record of any medical administration required during the period of time for when they were lone working.

This can be a problem when administering controlled drugs. It is important that the young person receives their medicine at the correct time therefore the member of staff administering the medicine, must also record that they were lone working in the register. It is not acceptable for another staff member to sign the register when they come in. You cannot be a witness to something you have not seen happen.

Spilled Medicines

When a medicine has been dropped on the floor or spilled then this must be safely disposed of and a note must be made in the records. A second dose should be offered to the young person (where a medication has spilled, leaving the remainder short for the completion of the course of the prescription, advice should be sought from the G.P as to how to make-up for the lost dosage).

When medicine has been spat out then this medication must be cleared away following the correct procedures and a note made in the records. However a second dose must not be offered, as staff will not know how much has been absorbed. If this persists the G.P should be contacted.

Detached or Illegible labels

If a label becomes detached from a container or is illegible, then staff must seek advice from the Pharmacist. Until this advice is received then the container should not be used.

Secondary Dispensing

Staff must ensure that medicines stay in the containers supplied and labelled by the Pharmacist. Medicines must not be placed in daily or weekly medicine trays.

Any medication must be in an original bottle when been transported to school or another environment.

Medication Errors

In the event of an error being made in the administration of any medication, advice must be sought from the young person's G.P. or another medical practitioner/ help line (e.g. NHS Choices) immediately or as soon as the error has been discovered. Staff must record the advice that they have been given.

Verbal Alterations

There may be times when it is necessary to stop or change the dose of a young person's medication without receiving a new prescription. Verbal requests to change medication by the G.P must be confirmed in writing before any changes are permitted. These changes must be recorded on all relevant medication records including the Individual Medication Record in the young person’s file. Staff must note the change, the name of the Doctor, the time the confirmation of alteration was received and the date. Staff must not alter the dispensing labels. A note may be added saying 'Refer to record for new instructions'. Staff should check the next prescription to make sure these new changes have been implemented.

Adverse Drug Reaction

Any adverse drug reaction or suspected adverse drug reaction should be reported to the G.P before further administration is considered. Advice should be sought on whether the medicine should be stopped or the treatment carries on. Staff must record the advice that they have been given indicating the date and time and authorising Practitioner.

Drug Recalls

When a Drug Recall Notification is received then staff should check the medication to see if the home is holding any stock. If there is none in stock then the notification should be signed, dated and filed for reference.

When stock if found that is listed on the drug recall, then staff must follow the directions given after isolating the stock.

Appendix 3: Administration Away from the Home

See also Lone Working Procedure.

If a child spends time away from the home, either on home visits, holidays or time spent at school, any medication due to be taken must be kept in the original labelled container.

Any medication taken away from the home should be appropriately recorded on the individual child's Medication Administration Record (MAR), showing what medication has been taken away/handed over to parents/ carers.  The person receiving the medication should countersign the record. 

If the parent/ carers wishes, a copy of the MAR should be handed over to them, so that a record of administration can be kept; this may be handed back to the home when the child returns.

If the person who is responsible for the child is a member of staff, then they must complete the documents for administration while they are away as normal.

The medication should always be handed over to someone responsible for the child.

Appendix 4: Skilled Health Tasks

This applies to specialist or skilled healthcare tasks, for example:

  • For diabetic children;
  • Physiotherapy programme;
  • For the use of Buccal Midalozam;
  • For the use of Rectal Diazepam.

If a child requires a skilled health task to be undertaken, this will only be carried out by trained staff, with the written authorisation of the prescribing Doctor in relation to the child concerned, and as set out in a Placement Plan or other written Health Care Plan.

Appropriate training will be provided, together with written guidance, as to how the skilled tasks will be performed and recorded.

Appendix 5: Guidance: Intentional Overdose

If an overdose is suspected, hospital treatment should be sought without delay. Staff should try to find out what the child/young person has taken and if possible take a sample to give to a medical practitioner.

Possible signs of an overdose:

  • Mild nausea/vomiting;
  • Paler skin;
  • Blue lips or fingernails;
  • Not waking up or reacting to a loud noise;
  • Shallow or disrupted breathing;
  • Gurgling, snorting or snoring /choking sounds;
  • Slow or very faint pulse.

It can take a long time between taking the substance and the first signs of an overdose; children/young people may verbally 'boast' about having taken an overdose: even when there are no signs, but staff must consider that there is a chance an overdose has been taken and they must act in caution and seek medical attention.

What to do if someone is reacting to an overdose:

  • Lie them on the floor;
  • Put them in the recovery position;
  • Call the ambulance - 999 - inform the operator of the overdose;
  • Do not leave the child/young person alone, make sure they don't roll onto their back;
  • Inform the ambulance team what the person has taken; try to gather all the packaging you can find;
  • Get some help, keep other children and young people away (but don't dismiss any valuable information that they may be trying to pass it on to you).


  • Walk the child/young person around;
  • Put the child/young person in a cold bath/layer them up to heavily to generate warmth;
  • Give them a drink.

Recording and Review

Please refer to the Self Harm and Suicidal Behaviour Procedure.

Within some of the complex needs homes, any first aid administered is recorded within the child’s daily notes, and on a CF50a/CF50 form. These are emailed to the relevant professionals and a copy is homed within the child’s individual file within the safe guarding section.

All staff undertake regular first aid training as part of their mandatory training.