A MORAY secondary school pupil required a hospital stay after being badly sunburned on a school trip.
Moray Council has been ordered to apologise after the unnamed pupil had to be bandaged thigh to toe and use a wheelchair before a 36-hour bus journey home.
The report, released by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), says the mother of the pupil complained about the council after her child – referred to as child A – returned from the trip abroad.
The SPSO report found a full risk assessment had been carried out but they were "critical" of a decision to allow the child to wear shorts with no sun protection when exposed to sunlight for half an hour.
SPSO said they found "failings" in the council’s actions once the severity of the child’s condition was known.
The report said: "Staff initially took advice from a pharmacist then later took the child to a local hospital. They took the advice of doctors at the hospital and also kept Mrs C and her husband informed until the group returned to the UK.
"We considered these steps to have been reasonable. However, the child was bandaged from thigh to toe and was unable to mobilise independently and in need of a wheelchair. The return journey home was 36 hours by coach.
"We considered that staff, who could see the condition child A was in, ought to have explored with Mrs C and her husband other options for getting child A home more quickly, taking into account the child’s dignity, privacy and comfort."
The SPSO report recommends the council apologise to Mrs C, her husband and child A for failing to explore other options for the child to travel home.
The council were also ordered to apologise to the pupil’s mother (Mrs C) for the poor handling of her complaint.
A spokesperson for Moray Council said: "We accept the findings of the SPSO’s decision report and will, as requested, provide evidence that their recommendations have been implemented."