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Norfolk school apologises after healthy pupil was given medicine in mix-up

08:54 31 January 2014

Cobholm Primary school Headteacher Julie Risby in the new classroom part of the schools building project.

Picture: James Bass
Copy: Stephen Pullinger
For: EDP/GYM News
Eastern Daily Press © 2010  (01603) 772434

Cobholm Primary school Headteacher Julie Risby in the new classroom part of the schools building project. Picture: James Bass Copy: Stephen Pullinger For: EDP/GYM News Eastern Daily Press © 2010 (01603) 772434

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010

A headteacher has apologised after a healthy five-year-old was given medicine in a mix-up.

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Staff at Cobholm Primary School, in Great Yarmouth, called the wrong girl from the school canteen at lunchtime and gave her an orange-coloured mixture, it is understood.

The drugs were in a bottle with the name of the child they were intended for written on it.

Nobody was aware of the blunder until five-year-old Jessica McWhinney, of Isaac’s Road, was picked up by her stepmother, her family claimed.

Jessica climbed into the car and said: “Mummy, I had the medicine you bought me.”

Her shocked stepmother, who asked not to be named, replied “what medicine?”.

Jessica’s dad, Jason McWhinney, who is a shop manager, said: “We took Jessica to the doctors to make sure she had the all-clear.

“Luckily my daughter’s OK, but if it was serious she could have died and the child who didn’t get their medicine could have died.”

He said he believed the drugs had been antibiotics and were meant for a younger child at the school.

Julie Risby, the headteacher of Cobholm Primary School, said: “I’m very sorry that this mistake happened.

“While we’re all very relieved that none of our pupils’ health has been compromised, I completely understand Mr McWhinney’s concerns.

“We have reviewed our policy that covers 
administering medication to pupils and there now has to be two members of staff present when giving children any medication that has been requested by their parents or carers.

“We have also notified the relevant teams at Norfolk County Council and will be meeting with them shortly to investigate the matter and receive their guidance.”

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