Archive for the ‘dispensing’ Category

Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 6

January 24, 2012

9g Where people who use services receive support with their medicines, the provider has:
●● Additional clear procedures followed in practice, monitored and reviewed for medicines handling that include obtaining, administration, monitoring and disposal. Wherever they are required these procedures include:
— how clinical trials are carried out in line with relevant laws, current guidelines and ethics committee approval
— sharing concerns about medicines handling.

Here you will required to have written procedure for all aspects of medicines management that include how to order medicines, how to receive them into the service including the records that need to be kept too. Detailed procedures for your team to follow with regards to administering medication in line with the National Minimum Standards and the RPSGB Safe Handling of Medicines in Social Care documents which detail the levels of support and administration that can be provided by a carer.

You will need to have procedures and appropriate records that show that you monitor both the administration of medication by your staff and that you monitor self-administration by clients to ensure that it is still appropriate.

When disposing of medicines always return the m to the pharmacy for safe disposal and ensure that appropriate records are kept, unless you are a nursing home, then you must make your own arrangements for safe disposal via a licensed waste carrier service. In both cases, if a resident dies in your care you must retain the medication for at least 7 days in case it is requested by a coroner.

All policies and procedures should be reviewed regularly to ensure that you keep abreast of changes n legislation or local policy. Do yours show a date last reviewed and/or next review date on them?

●● Established arrangements for obtaining pharmaceutical information by a
person who understands the care, treatment or support that is provided
by the service.
Ideally this would be an expert in medicines such as your local pharmacist, PCT pharmacist or GP practice pharmacist. Alternatively this may be an appropriate health professional such as a GP or Specialist Nurse or other health care professional.

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

●● Ensures medicines required for resuscitation or other medical emergencies
are accessible in tamper evident packaging that allows them to be
administered as quickly as possible.

Next time we’re exploring Outcomes 9i and 9j – the final of the outcomes for medication.

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Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 5

January 17, 2012

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!

Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 4

January 10, 2012

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!

Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 3

January 3, 2012

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

Takes into account relevant guidance set out in the Care Quality
Commission’s Schedule of Applicable Publications

As you know – I don’t normally put links intomy blogs but I thought for this part of the Outcomes it would be useful to put links in for the relevant documents and you can choose to click them to take a look at them or download them for later.

●● Relevant evidence-based guidance and alerts about medicines management and good practice published by appropriate expert and professional bodies, including:
National Patient Safety Agency
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Department of Health
Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB)
Social Care Institute for Excellence
— Medical and other clinical royal colleges, faculties and professional associations
●● The safe and secure handling of medicines: a team approach (RPSGB, 2005)
●●●● Safer management of controlled drugs: Guidance on strengthened governance arrangements (DH, 2007)
●● Safer management of controlled drugs: Guidance on standard operating procedures forcontrolled drugs (DH, 2007)
●● The handling of medicines in social care (RPSGB, 2007)
●● Research governance framework for health and social care: Second edition (DH, 2005)

Essential Standards Outcome 9 Pt 1

December 19, 2011

 Providing personalised care through the effective use of medicines

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

Ensures the medicines given are appropriate and person-centred by taking account of their:

  • age
  • choices
  • lifestyle
  • cultural and religious beliefs
  • allergies and intolerances
  • existing medical conditions and prescriptions
  • adverse drug reactions
  • recommended prescribing regimes.

Ensures the person’s prescription for medicines, for which the service is responsible, is up to date and is reviewed and changed as their needs or condition changes.

Includes monitoring the effect of their medicines and action when necessary if their condition changes including side effects and adverse reactions.

Includes supporting and reminding them to self-administer their medicines independently where they are able and wish to do so by minimising the risk of incorrect administration.

Follows clear procedures in practice, which are monitored and reviewed, which explain how up-to-date medicines information and clinical reference sources for staff are made available.

My thoughts:-
Does the person who does the care needs assessment have medicines training to ensure that all of these things are taken in to consideration?
In my experience specialising in medicines in care the answer to that question is more often than not a resounding NO! That is usually reflecting in the care plan produced, giving providers little information about medication, it’s use, personalisation, promoting independence, allergies etc. Quality training for assessors in Medication Needs Assessment is essential to ensure that our assessors know exactly what information is required to gather from the client AND to give to the client.

A community or primary care trust pharmacist can help support you with medicines use reviews – a free service that would provide you with so much information and and advice – make sure you take advantage of it!

Promoting independence with medicines is a subject dear to my heart as many of you who have trained with me will know. There are so many wonderful compliance aids available to enable clients to take or use their medication more easily and yet the care industry seem to have missed out on this information.  I’ll make sure this appears again in later newsletters to empower you to enable your service users too.

Clinical reference sources and medicines information can be found in the BNF or go to http://www.BNF.org and use the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain’s publication The Safe Handling of Medicines in Social Care

Next week we’ll cover Standard 9b – Manage risk through effective procedures about medicines handling. Hope you’re finding this useful 🙂

Meeting Essential Standards – Managing Medicines

December 12, 2011

What do the regulations say?

Regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010

Management of medicines
13.The registered person must protect service users against the risks associated with the unsafe use and management of medicines, by means of the making of appropriate arrangements for the obtaining, recording, handling, using, safe keeping, dispensing, safe administration and disposal of medicines used for the purposes of the regulated activity.

What should people who use services experience?
People who use services:

Will have their medicines at the times they need them, and in a safe way.

Wherever possible will have information about the medicine being prescribed made available to them or others acting on their behalf.

This is because providers who comply with the regulations will:

Handle medicines safely, securely and appropriately.

Ensure that medicines are prescribed and given by people safely.

Follow published guidance about how to use medicines safely.
My thoughts:-
Unsafe and management of medicines is usually the result of a lack of understanding of the legislation and guidance which governs medicines administration in all care settings.

  • Policies become out-dated as legislation changes and time whizzes by so fast you don’t realise just how out of date they have become.
  • A nervousness around taking responsibility for administering medication often leads to policies which are full of don’t and can’ts where medication administration by carers is concerned. Unfortunately, often this leaves your carers and clients at risk in not being able to fully support the client with their medication when they require it. As a result, companies who think they are protecting themselves from the responsibility of administering medicines often leave themselves inadvertently in a very vulnerable position legally.
  • Policy writers are stuck in the “old ways” of doing things assuming their way is the right way and maybe it’s not!
  • Policies around medication are not detailed enough to give clear guidance to nursing and care teams
  • A lack of quality training updated at least every 2 years if not annually given to all levels of the care and nursing teams.
  • Our nurses may be nurses but they need to be kept up to date too!

Service users should expect to have their medicines at the times they need need them and in a safe way. This becomes even more important as we move forward into the personalisation agenda – does your organisation ask the client how and where they would like to recieve their medication and at what times? (within reason to meet the requirements of the prescription)
Do you have a system in place to ensure that clients are informed about what they take medication for, possible side effects etc.? How will you make this information available to them? Do you have patient information leaflets for all the medication the client takes?

Ensuring that your current training arrangements provide expert knowledge will ensure that you get the policies that you work to right,  and that your teams are trained so that they are competent and confident in their role is essential to meet the new standards. May be now would be a good time to start taking a look at these things.

Next week we’ll take a look at Standard 9a in a little more detail – Providing personalised care through the effective use of medicines to guide you through it.

 

Categories of Medicines

December 5, 2011

Categories of Medicines

Why can you obtain some medicines from a pharmacist, or even buy them from a supermarket, while others can only be obtained with a prescription from your doctor or other healthcare professional?
The difference depends on the level of supervision that experts in medicines consider is needed before you use a particular medicine.
Under laws governing the supply of medicines, there are three categories determining how you obtain medicine:

Prescription-only medicines

(POMs) are available only on a prescription issued by a doctor or other suitably qualified healthcare professional, such as a nurse or pharmacist. You need to see the healthcare professional before they give you a prescription. You’ll then have to take the prescription to a pharmacy or, in rural areas, a dispensing GP surgery for your prescription to be dispensed. Examples of POMs are inhalers to treat asthma or medicines to lower high blood pressure.

Pharmacy (P) medicines

are available from a pharmacy without a prescription, but under the supervision of a pharmacist. You need to ask the pharmacy staff for this type of medicine as it will be kept “behind the counter” and will not be available for you to pick up from the pharmacy shelves. The pharmacist or another member of staff will check that the medicine is appropriate for you and your health problem, and will ask questions to ensure that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use the medicine. An example of a medicine that you can buy from a pharmacy without a prescription is chloramphenicol eye drops to treat an eye infection.

General sales list (GSL) medicines

can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and other retail outlets without the supervision of a pharmacist. These include medicines to treat minor, self-limiting complaints that people may feel aren’t serious enough to see their doctor or pharmacist about, such as the common cold, headaches, other aches and pains, minor cuts and stomach-related upsets.

Can medicines change their status?

New medicines tend to be licensed in the POM category so that healthcare professionals can supervise their use during the first few years they’re available. If a medicine proves safe in large numbers of patients over several years, the regulatory agency may consider changing it from POM to P.
EU regulations encourage switching medicines from POM to P as long as there’s no danger to health if the medicine is used without a prescriber’s supervision and the medicine is unlikely to be used incorrectly.
If a P medicine has shown no problems after several years, it may be considered for a switch to GSL status, so that it can be sold directly from retail outlets.
The UK is currently leading the world in making medicines available over the counter (OTC). A wide range of medicines have switched from both POM to P and P to GSL over the past 20 years, including ibuprofen for pain relief, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for stopping smoking, emergency hormone contraception, and clotrimazole and fluconazole for vaginal thrush.
More recently, simvastatin, a medicine that reduces cholesterol as a means of reducing the risk of heart attack, and chloramphenicol eye drops for eye infections have also switched from POM to P.
The government has said that it’s committed to increasing the availability of OTC medicines for common complaints, including treatments for long-term conditions, such as high blood pressure, where it’s safe to do so.
Are medicines I can buy from a pharmacy just as effective and safe?

If a medicine switches from POM to P, or from P to GSL, the active drug remains exactly the same. This means that it’s just as effective as when it had to be prescribed by a qualified prescriber. It also means that there’s the same risk of side effects if you take too high a dose or if you don’t follow the instructions on the label, so it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you about any side effects

Get the Most from Your Pharmacy Services

April 10, 2008

How much do you know about the services that pharmacies offer which make could make life easier for both you and your service users?

Most pharmacies offer some form of prescription collection and/or delivery service. Many pharmacies will also order the prescription on the patient’s behalf too, they keep the repeat and you let them know what you need – cutting out yet another step of the process for the service user. Ask your pharmacy about repeat medication services.

As well as prescription services, the pharmacy, under it’s new Pharmacy Contract, is able to offer a range of other services which you, or your service users might find particularly useful.

Compliance Aids and the DDA

One of these services is the provision of compliance aids under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Under new contract, the pharmacy is required to carry out an assessment with any service user who requests a compliance aid. This assessment helps to ascertain whether the service user is disabled and therefore qualifies for free support in the form of compliance aids.

Compliance aids, as we discussed in unit 1 of this course include the following:-

· Dosette or similar boxes

· Non-child proof tops

· Large print labels

· Braille labels

· Talking labels

· Provision of medication administration record charts

· Colour coding of labels to time of day

The purpose is to enable the service user the necessary support to get the most from their medicines and remain as independent as possible.

Medicines Use Reviews

A medicines use review is an appointment with a pharmacist to focus on how the an individual is getting on with their medicines. It usually takes place in the local pharmacy, but with permission from the Primary Care Trust, may take place in a service user’s home. It is an NHS service – and is free to the service user.

The meeting is to:

· Help the service user to find out more about the medicines

they are taking.

· Pick up any problems they are having with their medicines.

· Improve the effectiveness of their medicines.

· There may be easier ways to take them, or the service user may find that they need fewer medicines than before.

· Get better value for the NHS – making sure that the medicines are right for the individual to prevent unnecessary waste.

The pharmacist will have questions and may suggest changes to the

medicines. The service user may have concerns or questions that they want to ask about.

A medicine user review can be requested by ay the service user or any health professional or carer as long as the service user gives their consent.

Repeat Dispensing

Under the new contract you don’t have to go back to the doctor every time you need to renew a prescription. Instead, your doctor can give a prescription lasting up to a year and the pharmacist can dispense the medicines as and when they are needed. This service is called “Repeat Dispensing” and is available to patients who are stable on long term medication. More and more pharmacies and surgeries are offering this service and it may well be worth asking about.

Public Health Advice

In order to help reduce health inequalities and improve health the pharmacist can give you and your service users clinical and lifestyle advice on how to become healthier. This includes advice and information on how to stop smoking, reducing high blood pressure, lose weight and improve your diet. This will help to proactively tackle national diseases such as obesity, coronary heart disease and cancer. Pharmacies will be taking part in local and national health promotion campaigns

Signposting

If you have a health problem and are not sure where you should go to get advice or treatment, your pharmacist can help put you in touch with the appropriate service.

Self Care

Your pharmacist is be able to advise on which over the counter medicines are best for self-limiting conditions as well as give help on other things you could do to help you or your service user feel better.

Top 5 Myths about Compliance Aids in Social Care Dispelled

March 6, 2008

j0390523.jpg  Compliance aids are used extensively in social care and I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a few myths about them if I may.

Myth #1

In order to support a service user with his or her medication it must be in a monitored dosage system (MDS)

This is incorrect. There is absolutely no legal or ethical reason why medication needs to be in a monitored dosage system. It can just as easily and safely be supported from bottles, boxes and original packs as long as the correct checks are made, the dose instructions followed and good records kept. Incidentally these things have to happen for MDS too.

Myth #2

All tablets and capsules can be put into a MDS

This is incorrect. Not all tablets and capsules will remain stable once out of their original packaging and therefore must be dispensed in their original packs.

Myth #3

You can legally support a service user who has their medication put into the MDS by a friend or relative

This is incorrect. All monitored dosage systems must be filled by a pharmacist (or dispensing GP in rural areas). Supporting medication in trays filled by friends or relatives is not legal. If this is happening in your service you should take steps to make changes. Inform relatives or friends that from a certain date (e.g. a month’s time) that you will no longer be able to support the service user if they continue to fill the trays themselves. They should go to the pharmacy and request an assessment under the Disability Discrimination Act in order to have the medication dispensed by the pharmacy into a suitable MDS. If the service user meets the criteria of the Disability Discrimination Act they will be entitled to this service free of charge from the pharmacy.

Myth #4

All MDS systems are appropriate for use in social care.

This is incorrect. Any MDS system used in both care homes and domiciliary care must be dispensed by the pharmacy into a system that is able to be properly labelled to identify it’s contents on the actual pack containing the medication. The system used should also be tamper evident and secure.

Any system that does not meet this requirement should not be dispensed into by the pharmacy for use in social care. This includes the little “finger” type systems that have a different “finger” per day that can be taken separately from the pack. These systems have historically been purchased by the service user and filled by the pharmacy which is fine if they are assessed and unsupported, for you though as care staff supporting service users they are not suitable. If you have clients using these systems please ask the pharmacy to provide a system that meets labelling and security requirements.

Myth #5

The pharmacy dispensed the medication into the tray and therefore it’s nothing to do with me, not my responsibility to make any checks.

This is not correct. You have a legal obligation to check that the right patient receives the right medicine by the right route in the right dose at the right times. So, you then need to check the name on the pack is the right service user. You need to check that the contents of the pack match both what was ordered on the prescription and what is on the medication administration record. You need to check that the strength of the medication is what was expected and that the instructions for use are the same. Do the time slots in the pack match the administration times and do you know exactly how this medication is to taken, used or applied?

I do hope that this has cleared up many common misperceptions about monitored dosage systems and that as a result you will check your policies and procedures and update where necessary.

If you have any further questions about compliance aids or would like support in writing or reviewing polices please contact:-

Tracey Dowe

Email training@momentumpeople.co.uk

Tel 01793 700929

http://www.momentumpeople.co.uk

Prompting Vs Administration of medicines…..

December 17, 2007

j0178847.jpgA topic close to many of our hearts if we are in the business of caring for people who take or use any form of medication. It’s a mine field isn’t it? If you or your care staff were administering medicines to your service users – you would want to ensure that they were fully trained and competent to do so wouldn’t you? Me too.

Supporting people in taking their medication is all a bit scary. What if you get it wrong? The results could be disastrous and therefore many agencies prefer to think they are acting on the safe side by not getting involved in medicines administration at all.

As a result care organisations are still not training their carers in this vitally important area of care. Why? Because they are under the misperception that because they only prompt the administration of medicines, and do not (in their eyes) administer it, they therefore do not need to go to the trouble or expense of training their team.

BUT – did you know that in the eyes of the law Administration means to both personally administer AND to prompt the administration of medicines?

Therefore, if you are prompting medication you are actually administering it, there is no difference in the eyes of the law. The same checks need to be in place, the same record keeping needs to be completed, the same level of knowledge is required to fully support the client – even if you only prompt from a monitored dosage system. The monitored dosage system must be prepared by the pharmacy or a dispensing doctor for you to legally prompt or administer from it and whilst they have a responsibility to ensure that it leaves the pharmacy with the correct medication inside, you still have the responsibility to ensure that the right person gets the right dose of the right medicines by the right route at the right time.

So – if you are supporting service users who use medication you must ensure that you give your care workers the best possible training, relevant to your sector of care, that meets CSCI and Skills for Care requirements in order to safe guard your clients, your care workers and your business.

For further information about administration vs prompting or training requirements contact Tracey Dowe at Momentum People Ltd on 01793 700929 or email training@momentumpeople.com