Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 5

9e People who use services detained under the Mental Health act 1983

●●  Receive medicines that are duly authorised and administered in line with the Mental Health act 1983 Code of Practice.


9f People who use services receive care, treatment and support that:

  • follows clear procedures in practice, which are monitored and reviewed and that explain how staff may be permitted to administer homely remedies.

Homely remedies are those medicines that can be purchased by the client or a relative over the counter from a pharmacy, general store of health food shop. Guidance says that carers may support clients with over the counter medicines in the course of their care. And after all, who are we to take away their choice o use these things?

If our care teams are to support our clients with this group of medicines there are certain criteria that need to be met and it is these criteria that you need to be clear on and give clear guidance in your procedures and training for.

If the client purchases the medication themselves (or a relative buys it on their behalf) they should let the care agency know, especially if they require assistance with it from a member of the care team. The care organisation then has a responsibility to check with a pharmacist that that medication is appropriate and safe for that client to take with any other medicines they take and the medical conditions that they have. They should make a record of this conversation and the outcome.  The medication belongs to the client and would be kept by the client (in their room in a lockable cupboard or drawer in a care home) and a record of the administration made on the medication administration record.

I n a care home (residential or nursing) you may choose to buy over the counter remedies to keep in stock in case a resident needs something for a minor aliment such as pain relief, indigestion, sore throat, a cough mixture, a laxative etc. In this instance you must keep these medicines locked away centrally in a separate place to the prescribed medication. You must have authorised in advance by the GP which over the counter medicine can be taken by which resident.

You must also have for each over the counter medicine that you choose to keep, a record of the recommended dose i.e. How much can be taken or used at one time?
How long should you wait before it is taken or used again? Is there a set number of doses allowed with in a set time e.g. no more than 8 in 24 hours? How long do you continue to use that medication if the resident is not getting any better before you refer to the GP? What each medicine is to be administered for and in what circumstance may it be administered?

Once again, these medicines if given or used must be recorded on the medicines administration record at the time of administration.

Next time we’re exploring Outcomes 9g and 9h so watch this space!

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