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Cradley MP forces U-Turn on inhaler policy
10:00am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
RULES preventing schools from carrying emergency asthma inhalers look set to be revised after Cradley MP Margot James highlighted fears the ban could put lives at risk.
Her campaign appears to have sparked a U-turn by health chiefs on a policy change which banned schools from keeping generic inhalers on the premises for use by any pupil suffering an asthma emergency.
Ms James met with representatives from Dudley Council, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group Asthma UK, Dudley schools and a former borough asthma nurse after being contacted by concerned parents.
She also wrote to health minister Lord Howe, responsible for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
And now following a meeting with him on Tuesday, health chiefs look set to recommend a U-turn on the policy - and the ban on keeping generic inhalers in schools could be overturned in less than six months.
Ms James said: “The Commission on Human Medicines, which Lord Howe instructed to investigate the matter of asthma inhalers in schools earlier this year, will recommend regulations be changed.
“I am delighted health ministers have acted quickly in response to concerns expressed to me by parents of children with asthma in Stourbridge, who contacted me at the end of last year when schools were suddenly instructed not to permit the use of a general asthma inhaler in the case of a child who suffered an attack and didn’t have access to his or her inhaler.
“This ruling was in accordance with the letter of the law, but in reality children with asthma were safer when Dudley was technically in breach of the law - prior to new rules sent to schools last year.”
A six-week consultation will now follow but it is expected that the regulations will be amended and schools will be permitted to stock a generic inhaler by March next year.
Ms James added: “I received an assurance from Lord Howe that he would fast track the recommendation in to law.”
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