I should have been told my son was in hospital

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A MOTHER whose son took drugs at a residential school is angry she wasn’t told he was taken to hospital until 16 hours later.

The 12-year-old boy is a pupil at Hillside School in Aberdour, a school for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

His mother said she had heard he was given drugs - believed to be valium - last Tuesday by an older boy, and he was taken to accident and emergency at Victoria Hospital around 6.00 p.m.

Thankfully, the boy’s condition was not serious and, after being checked over, he returned to the school later that evening.

But his mother is upset as she wasn’t told about the incident until 10.00 a.m. the following morning.

Outrageous

She said: “It’s outrageous that my son was taken to A&E and I knew nothing about it. He could have been seriously ill but no-one bothered to tell me.”

Hillside School did contact the out-of-hours service at Moray Council as the boy’s home is in Elgin and the local authority pays for his care.

The Council didn’t pass on the message until the following day, but the boy’s mother is adamant the school should have contacted her directly. She believes they didn’t do so because she has complained about other aspects of his care during his eight months at the school.

Hillside school has been established for over 25 years, and has an excellent reputation for the care and education of young people for whom main stream education is no longer an option. Recent inspections rate most aspects of care and education as good or very good.

Precaution

A spokesman for Moray Council said: ‘The hospital visit was undertaken as a precaution by the school and no treatment was required. Indeed, the young person was back in school by 9.00 p.m.

“Consequently, social work did not regard it as an emergency and contacted the boy’s mother the next day.

“In the light of the mother’s comments we will re-consider its communication protocol with the family in case any similar situation should arise in the future.”

A statement from the senior management team at Hillside read: “The school would concur with the statement issued by Moray Council. Due to confidential and unique circumstances, the school communicates with the parent in this case solely through the social work department.

“The school continues to take a robust approach to the issue of substance misuse in collaboration with a variety of agencies.”