Eilidh and the school minibus

Eilidh is 13 years old and has complex needs including learning disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She is tube-fed and can experience as many as ten epileptic seizures a day.  Her oxygen levels have to be monitored and she has frequent hospital admissions.

Kindred began supporting Eilidh and mum Kirsty regarding transport to school.  The local authority had reorganised transport to reduce pollution and save on travel costs by arranging for children to share transport.  However, Eilidh’s requirements make it very difficult to share transport.  Tube-feeding can sometimes take longer and the bus may have to wait up to 20 minutes.  Eilidh requires a direct route to school (i.e. no stops for other children) to reduce journey time and the risk of an epileptic seizure while on transport.  The escort and the driver have to be trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in case Eilidh has a seizure and they have to support her breathing while waiting for an ambulance.

Kindred advocacy worker, Jane, supported Kirsty to make an application to a tribunal, including statements from the Epilepsy Specialist Nurse and the Dietician.  We made the case that safe transport arrangements for Eilidh were essential to her attending school.  Shortly before the Tribunal hearing we met with managers in the local authority to resolve plans for Eilidh’s transport.  Kirsty had written a draft Risk Assessment which was used throughout the meeting. 

Eilidh has been granted her own transport with staff who are trained in CPR.  As a result of Eilidh’s case there will be a review of the transport needs of all children with epilepsy throughout the local authority. 

Kirsty says ‘I can’t thank you enough for your input and time to get this resolved after almost two years.’