Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 4

Promotes Rights and Choices

9D People who use services benefit from a service that:

●● Ensures that wherever possible, information is available for people about the medicines they are taking, including the risks.
Here you will need to think about how you get that information from reliable sources and deliver the information to the client in a way that they can best understand. This includes information about prescribed medicines and over the counter medicines where appropriate. http://www.BNF.org is a great source of information but will probably be too technical for clients. Ask the pharmacist for Patient Information Leaflets where possible a good medicines book that has been written for the public that puts it more in layman’s terms – jargon free.

●● Ensures information is available for people about medicines advisable for
them to take for their health and wellbeing and also to prevent ill health.
Do you have information available to provide to clients to enable them to be proactive in becoming more healthy and staying healthy. This information may be for supplements, vitamins, minerals, homeopathic or herbal medicines for foods that promote health and well being.

●● Ensures there is access for staff to up-to-date legislation and guidance
related to medicines handling.
Training and continuing professional development and or competency assessment is key to this point. Training that meets the requirements for the CQC, Skills for Care and Essential Standards. Ensuring that staff are aware of and have access to not only your own medication policies but to the actual legislation and guidance documents as well. Do your policies and procedures actually reflect legislation and guidance or would now be a good time to review them to make sure that they do?

●● Ensures best interest meetings are held with people who know and
understand the person using the services when covert administration of
medicines is being considered, to decide whether this is in the person’s best
interest.
Medication may only be given covertly with certain consent. A team of multidisciplinary health professionals must come together to discuss the individual case and give consent in writing. I highly recommend that a pharmacist is part of this team to ensure that if medication is being given covertly because it is in the best interest of the client and they do not have capacity that that medication is put in to food that is appropriate and that that medication can be crushed if that is the proposal. I have heard some interesting and frightening stories recently of medication being authorised to be given covertly and instruction given by the doctor to put it in a hot drink, or hot food or even medication that needs to be swallowed whole being wrapped in toast! How would you not chew it??? So whilst a doctor is an expert in diagnosis and disease, the majority are not experts in medicines – please keep your clients safe by involving the pharmacist who is an expert in medicines.
I’m sure at some point we will cover covert administration and medicines in food as a separate article – please let me know if this would be useful to you.

Next week we will look at Outcome 9e and 9f – so more good stuff to come!

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