Archive for the ‘tablets’ Category

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 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

Covert Administration of Medicines

January 7, 2008

j0321104.jpg    Covert administration of medicines has recently hit the news again and in my training I often meet care workers who do not understand what covert administration is and why it is not acceptable. ‘Covert’ administration of medication is disguising the medicine in food, normally by crushing tablets or opening capsules and mixing them with the food to be eaten by the service user and they do not know they are taking it.

Care workers who have not been trained on medicines management will often think they are acting in the best interest of the service use, rationalizing that it is better that the person gets the medication than go with out because they do not want to take it. On the surface it appears a reasonable thing to do to them.

However, by law consent must be obtained from service users before any treatment or care or help with taking their medicines is given to them. Their decision, whether or not to agree to treatment or care has to be based on adequate information so they can make up their own mind what level of support is appropriate for them.

In theory a service user can agree to treatment and care verbally, in writing or by implying (by co-operating) that they agree. Equally a service user may take away that consent in the same way. Even though verbal consent or consent by implication would be enough evidence in my book nothing beats written consent, it’s always preferable and probably expected in most care agency policies.

Such consent should be recorded in the care plan and the service users signature obtained on the care plan during the care assessment. Written consent stands as a record that discussions have taken place and of the service users choice.

In the context of medication you need to be aware of how consent is managed. You are likely to need the service user to sign for their medication administration; this may be done once at the care assessment stage, each week/month as a new medication administration record is used or each

It is important that information is shared freely with the service user, in an accessible way and in appropriate circumstances. This includes providing patient information leaflets to your service users, and if necessary reading and explaining these to them if they are not able to do this themselves.

In an emergency situation were treatment is necessary to preserve life and the service user cannot make a decision (for example because they are unconscious), the law allows you to provide treatment without their consent, providing you are sure you are always acting in their best interest.

You should also know that if the service user is an adult, consent from relatives is not sufficient on its own to protect you in the event of a challenge, as nobody has the right to give consent on behalf of another adult unless the service user has passed over the power of attorney to another person. In this case the other person can give their consent for you to administer medication

Legally, a competent adult service user can either give or refuse support, even if refusal will be to their detriment. However, you must respect the refusal of consent by a service user just as much as you would their consent. You must make sure that service user has been fully informed and, when necessary, involve another member of the health and social care team. You should make sure that a summary of any such discussion and the decision is documented in the service users records.

Consent to support with the administration of medicines means there must never be any ‘covert’ administration of medication e.g. disguising the medicine in food (unless someone is mentally incapacitated and a multi-disciplinary team deems this to be in the service users best interest).

It is important that the principles governing consent are applied just as vigorously to all forms of care with people who are mentally incapacitated as with a competent adult. When a service user is considered incapable of providing consent, or where the wishes of a mentally incapacitated service user appear contrary to the interests of that person, you may need to involve other people close to them, but respect any previous instructions the service user gave. Covert administration is still a last resort and can only be authorized by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals.

As you can see gaining consent may not be as straightforward as it first appears. Nonetheless, it is a vital part of caring for people. The reason it is so important is that it is assumed that the service user is the best person to be in control of their care. So any procedure that may affect them can only be given once they have consented to the care and this includes medication.