Worksop school refuses student painkillers for crippling condition

A Worksop mum has told how school staff are refusing her daughter medication for a painful and debilitating condition.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 9:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 3:36 pm

Kim Holt’s 13-year-old daughter Alexis suffers heavy bleeding during periods which causes faintness and pain which her mum says is so bad ‘it’s like being in labour’.

In July last year Alexis was prescribed a mixture of drugs including tranexamic acid to prevent excessive bleeding and mefenamic acid and paracetamol for pain relief.

However this month Kim received a phone call from the nurse at Outwood Academy Portland saying the school could not give Alexis paracetamol as it was not in a box issued by her GP.

Kim Holt's daughter has been denied her paracetamol by her school

Kim’s family doctor wrote a letter which she showed to the school stating it was no longer policy to prescribe over-the-counter drugs.

However the school refused to administer the painkiller - leaving Kim with no choice but to keep her daughter at home during her period.

Accident and emergency admin worker Kim said: “She’s a good kid - not a troublemaker – but she’s not being allowed to take the things she needs to take to be able to concentrate in school.

“If she doesn’t take the paracetamol she is bent over double - when I kept her off last week she was bleeding so heavily she was in bed with a hot water bottle sobbing.

“On a couple of occasions she had been left embarrassed because she’s bled through her clothes.

“If you don’t suffer with it you cannot appreciate the level of pain - it’s like being in labour.”

Kim told how she had received a warning from the school that if Alexis’ attendance dropped below a certain level she would not be allowed to graduate – but the worried mum refuses to allow her daughter to suffer.

She said: “It's just a horrible situation - I don’t allow my children to have time off unless they are really ill.

“This is just cruel and I’ve made a formal complaint - they’re giving me no choice but to keep her off school for a couple of days every month.”

A spokesperson for Outwood Academy Portland said: “At Outwood the health and safety of our students is of paramount importance to us and we take care to ensure students are given the right medication.

“We do not like to speak about specific cases but we obviously sympathise with Alexis and we will be contacting her mum so we can discuss this situation and hopefully avoid Alexis missing more school time.”

Heavy menstrual bleeding - also known as menorrhagia - can cause blood loss anemia and severe pain.

Doctors were banned from prescribing paracetamol in May 2018 in a crackdown designed to save almost £100 million a year.

Drugs such as paracetamol can be bought over the counter for a fraction of what it costs the NHS to prescribe them.

A box of 16 paracetamol tablets costs between 30p and 50p but it can cost the NHS significantly more to prescribe them - including dispensing and GP consultation fees.