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What to Have in your School Sick Bay

In a busy school, every day sees its fair share of bumps and bruises. There are also likely to be a number of pupils who need prescribed medication administered. Is your school sick bay up to the job? Find out which equipment is essential for school first aid, and why a dedicated, separate sick room is an asset for any school.

Medical supplies and first aid kits

Do you have enough first aid kits to meet the needs of your student and staff population? First aid kits must be within easy reach of every location in the school, including remote areas such as school fields. They must also be kept in school vehicles such as buses. If you have carried out risk assessments that identify specific risks in areas like kitchens and science labs, you might include extra supplies in the first aid kits that serve these areas.

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It’s important to check regularly to ensure that all components of your first aid kits are present and in-date.


A school first aid room should have all the basic items of furniture and equipment needed to examine and treat a patient. These include:

  • A sink where you can wash your hands. This should have hot and cold running water on tap
  • Drinking water
  • Hand sanitiser and disinfectant surface wipes
  • A first aid cabinet containing equipment such as disposable gloves, dressings, bandages and plasters
  • Somewhere to dispose of clinical waste. A waste paper basket or hand-operated bin is no good: you must have a foot-operated bin lined with yellow clinical waste bags
  • Somewhere for patients to sit or lie and be examined, such as a waterproof examination couch. You’ll also need pillows and blankets.
  • A chair
  • A phone
  • An accident book

You may also wish to include an automated external defibrillator (AED) for use in the event of a cardiac arrest. Quick treatment can save lives, so this is something important to consider.

Benefits of a dedicated school sick bay

While schools don’t legally have to provide a room that is solely dedicated to first aid, it’s a good idea to do so. Here’s why:

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  • A dedicated sick bay ensures adequate privacy for patients, who can be treated without interruption in quiet and confidential surroundings
  • A sick bay must be available whenever needed. If it has a shared use, there may be times when this isn’t practical
  • It’s recommended that your sick bay should be located near to a WC. With a dedicated, purpose-built first aid room, you can include ensuite accessible toilet facilities
  • People needing treatment can be agitated, nervous or distressed. Custom-designed surroundings can help put patients at their ease
  • You could locate your sick bay near to other facilities such as a therapy room, sensory room or ELSA room

Self-contained, modern and comfortable, modular buildings are a great choice for any school planning on building a separate sick bay. Find out more about Vertis cost-effective education products to see how your school could benefit.