Child overdosed at nursery

Dr Marimuthu Velmurugan

Dr Marimuthu Velmurugan

First published in News by

A NURSERY has employed a new manager and changed its procedures after a child was rushed to A&E following an overdose of medicine.

Ladybird NHS Nursery, in Cardigan Avenue, Southend, has brought in award-winning manager Lynda Bartholomew after Ofsted judged it “inadequate”.

The children’s services watchdog inspected the nursery after a child was given too much Calpol and found it was yet to take steps to stop it happening again, according to a report just out.

Inspectors also found the nursery, which cares for 68 children, had been without a manager taking responsibility for the children’s care for a year.

The nursery appointed Ms Bartholomew, who has received Southend Council’s early years inspirational manager award, tightened up its medication procedures and made its outdoor play areas more attractive after advice from Ofsted.

Ms Bartholomew, who has ten years’ experience as a childcare manager, said: “I am passionate about outdoor play and the benefits this brings to children's health and wellbeing, I strongly believe every child in my care deserves the best possible start in life and am committed to ensuring I support the nursery team to ensure this continues to be the case at Ladybird.

“I’ll be building on the nursery’s strengths and learning lessons from the past to make positive improvements for the future.”

Ofsted visited the nursery, many of whose children’s parents work at Southend Hospital which is on the same site, in January after the overdose the previous month.

The child was given 5ml of Calpol at home between 8am and 9am, but due to a miscommunication staff administered a second dose at 11am. The child, who still attends the nursery, was taken to hospital as a precaution, but showed no ill effects.

Ofsted has said the nursery has taken “prompt and effective action” to improve after a monitoring visit last month.

In a letter to the nursery, the watchdog said Ms Bartholomew has had a “significant and positive impact on the running of the nursery”.

Staff have been retrained on how to improve outdoor activities, more stimulating activities, including water play, have been introduced, and containers with strawberries, tomatoes and flowers have been installed.

A hospital governor and staff representative raised serious concerns about the nursery after the Ofsted report.

Dr Marimuthu Velmurugan, a Westcliff GP and appointed hospital governor, said it was “totally unacceptable” for a child to overdose and Unison has asked the hospital what other childcare options staff have.

Dr Velmurugan, who is also an Independent councillor for Westborough, said: “It’s totally unacceptable. There should be zero tolerance of this.

“They have failed in their duty.

“If they are operating within the hospital grounds they should have a doctor in there.”

Sam Older, regional organiser for Unison, which represents many staff at the hospital, said: “Many of the parents of the children using the nursery are NHS staff and Unison members. "These parents are very concerned of the results of the Ofsted report.

“Hospital staff with children need a quality local nursery to care for their children while they are at work.

“Unison will be asking the hospital trust about options for staff that currently use the facility.”

Comments (19)

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8:29am Tue 19 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Bit of an over reaction headline...'child overdosed at nursery'.
Bit of an over reaction headline...'child overdosed at nursery'. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 34

10:15am Tue 19 Aug 14

shoess3 says...

If a child is unwell enough to need regular doses of Calpol, surely that child should be at home with their parents?
If a child is unwell enough to need regular doses of Calpol, surely that child should be at home with their parents? shoess3
  • Score: 38

10:26am Tue 19 Aug 14

whateverhappened says...

•6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
•2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home.
•6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day •2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home. whateverhappened
  • Score: 29

11:03am Tue 19 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Looks like a right dungeon, though a good money maker..
Looks like a right dungeon, though a good money maker.. sesibollox
  • Score: -6

12:18pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

whateverhappened wrote:
•6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
•2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home.
exactly,it was not an overdose.!!

headline should be 'Child given 5ml of calpol shortly before second dose was due at nursery but was perfectly ok after '

move along nothing to see here.
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: •6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day •2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home.[/p][/quote]exactly,it was not an overdose.!! headline should be 'Child given 5ml of calpol shortly before second dose was due at nursery but was perfectly ok after ' move along nothing to see here. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 24

1:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

emcee says...

Two 5ml doses of Calpol within three hours? Absolutely terrible. Glad this child was RUSHHED to A&E in time.

Substance abuse like this must be stopped in our nurseries. It will only lead to the abuse of harder drugs like throat lozenges as the child gets older to the point where they will start putting stuff up their nose.... like sinus nasal sparys.
Two 5ml doses of Calpol within three hours? Absolutely terrible. Glad this child was RUSHHED to A&E in time. Substance abuse like this must be stopped in our nurseries. It will only lead to the abuse of harder drugs like throat lozenges as the child gets older to the point where they will start putting stuff up their nose.... like sinus nasal sparys. emcee
  • Score: 30

1:41pm Tue 19 Aug 14

MilesBond says...

I suspect a stitch up somewhere along the line.
I suspect a stitch up somewhere along the line. MilesBond
  • Score: 10

3:13pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Idontknowy says...

whateverhappened wrote:
•6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
•2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day
So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home.
Up to 4 times a day means 6 hourly not 3 hourly
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: •6 months to 24 months: 5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day •2 years to 4 years: 7.5ml of infant paracetamol suspension, given up to four times a day So with a posible 3hour gap between dosage i can't see how this was a overdose plus as shoes3 says if a child NEEDS regular dosing should that child not be at home.[/p][/quote]Up to 4 times a day means 6 hourly not 3 hourly Idontknowy
  • Score: 4

8:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Hugo68 says...

Overdose!!!!!! I think not.
Headlines like this can cause serious damage to The Nursery concerned and that's not right.
Obviously the parents of the child did not feel the need to remove their child from the Nursery and considering this 'incident' happened in December and OFSTED did not publish the report until approx. 6 months later, this is a complete farce.
All the comments stating the amount of medication a child can be give is absolutely correct, therefore there was NO overdose.
Overdose!!!!!! I think not. Headlines like this can cause serious damage to The Nursery concerned and that's not right. Obviously the parents of the child did not feel the need to remove their child from the Nursery and considering this 'incident' happened in December and OFSTED did not publish the report until approx. 6 months later, this is a complete farce. All the comments stating the amount of medication a child can be give is absolutely correct, therefore there was NO overdose. Hugo68
  • Score: 31

8:20pm Tue 19 Aug 14

SummerSadness says...

Totally stupid comments from a supposed GP.
Surely he would know this is not an overdose.
Ok and the having a doctor here comment... Really ?
What's the doctor going to do all day,, wait around incase a child has a temperature or a grazed knee ???
How many nurserys have a doctor on site at all times ??? Is this GP for real ???
Where did they find him.
Totally stupid comments from a supposed GP. Surely he would know this is not an overdose. Ok and the having a doctor here comment... Really ? What's the doctor going to do all day,, wait around incase a child has a temperature or a grazed knee ??? How many nurserys have a doctor on site at all times ??? Is this GP for real ??? Where did they find him. SummerSadness
  • Score: 26

11:53pm Tue 19 Aug 14

MJSMITH says...

would be interesting to see nurseries medication policies. It is classed as an over dose, as if was nearer 9am, it is twice the dose in half the safe gap between doses. however if the parent was unsure if they gave closer to 8 or 9 then they are also accountable. unfair headline though
would be interesting to see nurseries medication policies. It is classed as an over dose, as if was nearer 9am, it is twice the dose in half the safe gap between doses. however if the parent was unsure if they gave closer to 8 or 9 then they are also accountable. unfair headline though MJSMITH
  • Score: 5

5:41am Wed 20 Aug 14

Illinois10 says...

Sack everyone, send them all to jail for this abuse. The nurse should be closed down
Sack everyone, send them all to jail for this abuse. The nurse should be closed down Illinois10
  • Score: -10

5:42am Wed 20 Aug 14

Illinois10 says...

*nursery
*nursery Illinois10
  • Score: -5

8:41am Wed 20 Aug 14

Hugo68 says...

On a different note, it's good to see the new managers priority is a nice garden!!!!! Let's hope there's no 'overdosing' on tomatoes or strawberries, the effects could be disastrous!!!
On a different note, it's good to see the new managers priority is a nice garden!!!!! Let's hope there's no 'overdosing' on tomatoes or strawberries, the effects could be disastrous!!! Hugo68
  • Score: 8

1:58pm Wed 20 Aug 14

AnotherEchoError says...

What a ridiculous article with very irresponsible reporting. Parents are feeling nervous enough about leaving their children when they have to work without this scaremongering. It's almost as if the Echo reporters don't want mothers to go out to work and would rather them all be at home with their children. Totally stupid.
What a ridiculous article with very irresponsible reporting. Parents are feeling nervous enough about leaving their children when they have to work without this scaremongering. It's almost as if the Echo reporters don't want mothers to go out to work and would rather them all be at home with their children. Totally stupid. AnotherEchoError
  • Score: 7

5:45pm Wed 20 Aug 14

SummerSadness says...

Hugo68 wrote:
On a different note, it's good to see the new managers priority is a nice garden!!!!! Let's hope there's no 'overdosing' on tomatoes or strawberries, the effects could be disastrous!!!
I couldn't agree more.
It sounds like the new manager has got her priories straight.
No mention of the staff who I imagine are going through a hard time with this being reported.
But the tomatoes and strawberries are planted so it's all good.
[quote][p][bold]Hugo68[/bold] wrote: On a different note, it's good to see the new managers priority is a nice garden!!!!! Let's hope there's no 'overdosing' on tomatoes or strawberries, the effects could be disastrous!!![/p][/quote]I couldn't agree more. It sounds like the new manager has got her priories straight. No mention of the staff who I imagine are going through a hard time with this being reported. But the tomatoes and strawberries are planted so it's all good. SummerSadness
  • Score: 8

6:19pm Wed 20 Aug 14

jonjon1981 says...

Real Title 'Doctor tries to get colleagues kids to fund his second home & political campaign'. Not every nursery can have GPs in attendance, it is ridiculous to say children of NHS staff are any more deserving. The real motive as usual is simple greed.
Real Title 'Doctor tries to get colleagues kids to fund his second home & political campaign'. Not every nursery can have GPs in attendance, it is ridiculous to say children of NHS staff are any more deserving. The real motive as usual is simple greed. jonjon1981
  • Score: 2

7:59pm Wed 20 Aug 14

opalina says...

Even though in this case the child did not suffer any ill effects, the potential for serious consequences from mis medication is severe. The nursery made the right call in taking the child to A&E, paracetamol overdose is surprisingly small even in an adult so a child under 5 is potentially lethal.

The procedure for administering medication was obviously not robust enough and needed amending or even completely re-writing so as to avoid incidence like this from happening again. Next time may not have been as lucky.

Can you imagine the headlines if the nursery did not react and the child became seriously ill? Of course the risk of that happening was minute but a risk is a risk.

For those asking why a child would attend nursery if regular dosing of calpol was necessary. There are many symptoms or illnesses that require regular dosing of medication without the need to keep the child home. I don't recall seeing the age of the child in the article or I missed it but given the child is of pre-school age I would imagine it may have been for teething or perhaps after a jab? Maybe a toothache or mild fever. I have no idea but the parents obviously thought the child was well enough to attend the nursery aided by a little calpol. I know I have packed my kids off to nursery/school dosed up with calpol for minor ailments, as I would assume most people would unless the child is severely unwell or has a med/high grade fever.
Even though in this case the child did not suffer any ill effects, the potential for serious consequences from mis medication is severe. The nursery made the right call in taking the child to A&E, paracetamol overdose is surprisingly small even in an adult so a child under 5 is potentially lethal. The procedure for administering medication was obviously not robust enough and needed amending or even completely re-writing so as to avoid incidence like this from happening again. Next time may not have been as lucky. Can you imagine the headlines if the nursery did not react and the child became seriously ill? Of course the risk of that happening was minute but a risk is a risk. For those asking why a child would attend nursery if regular dosing of calpol was necessary. There are many symptoms or illnesses that require regular dosing of medication without the need to keep the child home. I don't recall seeing the age of the child in the article or I missed it but given the child is of pre-school age I would imagine it may have been for teething or perhaps after a jab? Maybe a toothache or mild fever. I have no idea but the parents obviously thought the child was well enough to attend the nursery aided by a little calpol. I know I have packed my kids off to nursery/school dosed up with calpol for minor ailments, as I would assume most people would unless the child is severely unwell or has a med/high grade fever. opalina
  • Score: -1

11:34pm Wed 20 Aug 14

summercff82 says...

This article is a total joke!! I used to work at the nursery and I can say now that each and every staff member worked really hard and was and still is very caring and responsible for all children in their care. It angers me and upsets me to see what has been written. The nursery had been waiting for an inspection for the past 2 years so due to turn up at any point not because of this incident! They didn't get inadequate because of the care of the children as again the staff do a fantastic job. They got inadequate because there was no management. The previous manager left in December 2012 so things where left to the childcare business manager who quite frankly doesn't know what she is doing or how to run the nursery. This is why they failed!! The incident happens in the December of 2013 it was dealt with and forms were changed this happened before the new manger started some 4 months later so how they can say she has turned things around blah blah blah I don't know. The capable staff did this themselves!! As you can see from the article the new managers priority is the outdoors anyway. If the incident was that bad of stem would have been in straight away, the parents would have taken the child out of the nursery and this story should have been published then. But the fact that none of that happened clearly shows what a load of rubbish this article is!! Keep up the good work girls you really do do a grand job!
This article is a total joke!! I used to work at the nursery and I can say now that each and every staff member worked really hard and was and still is very caring and responsible for all children in their care. It angers me and upsets me to see what has been written. The nursery had been waiting for an inspection for the past 2 years so due to turn up at any point not because of this incident! They didn't get inadequate because of the care of the children as again the staff do a fantastic job. They got inadequate because there was no management. The previous manager left in December 2012 so things where left to the childcare business manager who quite frankly doesn't know what she is doing or how to run the nursery. This is why they failed!! The incident happens in the December of 2013 it was dealt with and forms were changed this happened before the new manger started some 4 months later so how they can say she has turned things around blah blah blah I don't know. The capable staff did this themselves!! As you can see from the article the new managers priority is the outdoors anyway. If the incident was that bad of stem would have been in straight away, the parents would have taken the child out of the nursery and this story should have been published then. But the fact that none of that happened clearly shows what a load of rubbish this article is!! Keep up the good work girls you really do do a grand job! summercff82
  • Score: 17

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