From The School Doctor
The school’s health is in the care of two school doctors, with one or other of whom all boys register under the National Health Service. Each doctor holds a surgery for boys every day from Monday to Friday, and there is a joint surgery for urgent cases on Saturdays. Minor illnesses are treated in houses, where the dame is in charge, or in the sanatorium, which is run by a fully trained nursing sister assisted by two full-time and two part-time registered general nurses. No sanatorium charge is made.
A state-registered physiotherapist visits the school every weekday, and at weekends as well when required. Charges for physiotherapy can normally be recovered through health insurance.
Boys with more serious illnesses or those requiring surgery or continuous attention at night are treated in neighbouring private or NHS hospitals. The expense of private accommodation and treatment can be covered by insurance schemes: click here for further details.
A specialist in adolescent psychiatry comes to the school each week and is freely available in his capacity as School Counsellor to any boy who wishes to talk to him privately. He is also pleased to see parents by arrangement or to talk to them on the telephone. His numbers are to be found in Fixtures under ‘School Counsellor’.
A medical record form and rules for consent to medical treatment are sent to the parents of new boys a few weeks before they arrive; care should be taken to complete all of the form which should then be returned to the boy’s dame as soon as possible before the start of the Michaelmas half, together with the registration form GMS1, NHA number and details of his next-of-kin. Every boy is medically examined during his first half in the school, and a copy of the report sent to his parents, and a second examination is offered mid-way through a boy’s Eton career (this is a prerequisite for entry to the Corps).
The house master or dame should be informed whenever a boy is returned to school if he has received any medical treatment – physical or medicinal – and whether or not that treatment is to be continued at school. This avoids any danger of something incompatible being prescribed for him at Eton; if necessary, the home doctor should be asked to write direct to the school doctor. It is very important that all medicinal drugs be given into the care of the dame who will then administer them to the boy; unless specially authorized by the school doctor, boys may not administer drugs to themselves at Eton even if they have been doing so during the holidays.
Parents are strongly recommended to consider providing their sons with protective items for sports — particularly an eye-protector for squash (obtainable from most good sports shops) and a cricket helmet to protect teeth and facial bones. A gum-shield (obtainable from dentists) is now required before a boy may play rugby or hockey.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of your son’s health with his Eton doctor, please telephone the sanatorium on 01753 671415.
Dr Jonathan Holliday