Taking medicines, informed consent and involving your child in decisions

Health providers must include the child in decisions about their care. This includes:

  • All registered providers must ensure safe use and management of medicines, by means of the making of appropriate arrangements for the obtaining, recording, handling, using, safe keeping, dispensing, safe administration and disposal of medicines (Outcome 9 Essential standards of quality and safety) (Care Quality Commission, London 2010). For children, these should include specific arrangements that:
  • ensure the medicines given are appropriate and person-centred by taking account of their age, weight and any learning disability
  • ensure that staff handling medicines have the competency and skills needed for children and young people’s medicines management
  • ensure that wherever possible, age-specific information is available for people about the medicines they are taking, including the risks, and information about the use of unlicensed medicine in paediatrics.
  • Providers must have systems in place to obtain and review consent from people who use services, and act on them (Outcome 2a Essential standards of quality and safety) (Care Quality Commission, London 2010). These must include:
  • specific arrangements for seeking valid consent from children whilst respecting their human rights and confidentiality and ensure that where the person using the service lacks capacity, best interest meetings are held with people who know and understand the person using the service
  • staff being able to show that they know how to take appropriate consent from children, young people and those with learning disabilities (Outcome 2b ‘Seeking consent: working with children’) (Department of Health, London 2001).
  • All children and young people who use services must be:
  • fully informed about their care, treatment and support
  • able to take part in decision making to the fullest extent that is possible
  • asked if they agree to their parents or guardians being involved in decisions they need to make (Essential standards of quality and safety, Care Quality Commission, London 2010).