Archive for the ‘legally’ Category

Essential Standards Outcome 9 pt 7

January 31, 2012

9i. People who use services receive care, treatment and support from staff who:

●● Ensure they make a record of any medication taken or reminded by the person using the service where this is part of the plan of care.
Carer helping elderly lady
Good record keeping, once more is absolutely key to meeting the essential standards for medicines and should be kept whether you are administering at level 2 or just reminding someone to take their medicines at levels 1 or 2. Do you record the prompting of medication? You should be.

●● Follow clear procedures, that are monitored and reviewed, that explain:
— their role with regards to helping people take their medicines
— what staff should do if the person using services is unable, or refuses, to
take their medicines.

So here you need to review your policies and procedure to ensure that they clearly detail; the role of the carer in administering (or reminding) medicines and what they can and cannot do within the 3 levels of support outlined in the guidance in the National Minimum Standards and CQC guidance.
Do your staff understand what to do, who to notify and what to record when a client refuses to take their medicines? Your policies need to clearly state what to do when a client refuses medication. What to record, who to inform and what consequences might be encountered.
Staff need to be aware that they can inform the client of consequences, they can encourage them to take the medication, they can try in 5 minutes times, perhaps ask a colleague to administer instead, but they cannot force a client to take the medication. A client has the right to refuse whether we think it’s a the right decision or not.

9j People who use services receive care, treatment and support from staff who:
●● Ensure that patient safety alerts, rapid response reports and patient safety
recommendations disseminated by the National Patient Safety Agency and
which require action are acted upon within required timescales.

So there you have it – the last of the part for Outcome 9 in the Essential Standards.
I trust that you have found the information useful and that it has been the catalyst to review policies and training. If Momentum People can support you with either or both please email us or give us a call to discuss.

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.

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 🙂

CQC Criticised – Have they put patient care at risk?

December 6, 2011

Criticism has been levelled at the Care Quality Commission for apparently putting its registration responsibilities ahead of its duty to inspect hospital trusts and social care providers.

The Pharmaceutical Journal reports today that…

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, accused the CQC of “significant failures that [have] put patient care at risk”. She said the organisation — which formed following the merger of three statutory regulators in 2009, and is responsible for regulating nine health profession regulatory bodies, including the General Pharmaceutical Council — is too focused on “box ticking, and not enough on crossing the threshold and assuring quality of care”.

Her comments follow a report on the CQC published last week (2 December 2011) by the National Audit Office, which concludes that the commission is an underfunded organisation chasing to catch up with Government inspection targets.

Between October 2010 and April 2011, the CQC was struggling to meet its inspection obligations and had achieved only 47 per cent of them, the NAO report says. Despite working with a budget smaller than the combined budgets of the organisations it replaced, the CQC also fails to represent value for money, the report adds.

Commission has since taken steps to improve

NAO comptroller and auditor general Amyas Morse welcomed steps the CQC has since taken to improve its service, adding: “Against a backdrop of considerable upheaval, the CQC has had an uphill struggle to carry out its work effectively and has experienced serious difficulties.

“There is a gap between what the public and providers expect and what [the CQC] can achieve. The commission and the Department of Health should make clear what successful regulation of this critical sector would look like.”

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said the commission faced a “difficult task” in its infancy, but is now on track to deliver real benefits for people who use health and social care services.

Here’s the report from the National Audit Office

 

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