Archive for the ‘secondary’ Category

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!

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Secondary Dispensing – Still an Issue in Care

December 13, 2007


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This is an issue that I came across recently whilst delivering training in medicines management to a domiciliary care.  I was surprised to hear how much it still happens out there and feel that it’s an area that needs to be highlighted and discussed – put out in the open if you like.

What is secondary dispensing?

Let me give you an example.

You have service users who visit a day centre and will be there for there lunch time medication. The medication is dispensed by the pharmacy into a monitored dosage system which you feel is a bit big for the service user to take to the day care centre with him or her so you take out the lunch time doses and put them into an envelope with their name on it for him/her to take with them.

Or

You have a service user who goes home occasionally for the weekend. You don’t want to send the whole cassette with their medication in with them, perhaps you’re not sure it will be returned when they come back, so you put the weekend medication in to another container with their name on it and brief instructions as to when they should be taken.

What’s wrong with that you might say?

The issue is that you are not qualified to dispense medication. You are giving out medicines that are not labelled properly or legally and the medication is not identifiable in any way. It also does not give the service user proper dose instructions or warning instructions or safe storage instructions. By giving someone medication in this way you are taking responsibility for it, if some thing goes wrong you are liable because you acted outside of the law.

So that’s all very well you say – but what is the solution? How do you ensure that the service user gets the medication at the day centre or during home visits?

There are two possible solutions. The first is to send the service user with the medication in the original pack, be that the boxes and bottles dispensed by the pharmacy or the monitored dosage box (e.g. nomad tray, blister pack, dosette).
If your policies do not allow this to happen at present, then in order to operate with in the law perhaps it is time to review those policies.

The second option is to speak with the GP practice and the pharmacy to arrange to have the doses needed for outside your care dispensed in to separate containers that the service user can take with them. The medication must be dispensed by either a pharmacy or a dispensing doctor though, not by your staff.

But we’ve been doing this for years you cry! Yes…I know but it doesn’t make it right.

But our inspectors have never said anything about it you tell me……yes…..but perhaps as knowledgeable as they are they are in legislation and guidelines they are not experts in medicines and do not know that what you’re doing is not legal. When something goes wrong ignorance will not be a defence so better to put things right as soon as possible rather than hoe it will be ok and continue to break the law.

For further information or any questions about this or any other medication issues please contact tracey.dowe@momentumpeople.co.uk