Care Home Information

This page aims to provide information to Care Homes regarding medication. There are links to essential documents. To help Care Home staff, the “Three main points” of each document have been summarised. However, if Care Home Staff are able to do so, then it is recommended that the entire document is consulted.

Legal requirements

The management of medication in Care Homes is regulated by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010.

It states that:
“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.”

The Care Quality Commission – Essential Standards of Quality and Safety

This is designed to help providers of Health and Adult Social Care to comply with the Health and Social Care Act.

Three Main Points

  1. Outlines what Care Homes MUST DO to comply with the Social Care Act.
  2. Outcome 9 discusses management of medication and states that the registered person must protect service users against the risks associated with unsafe use and management of medicines, by the 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.
  3. It promotes person centred care and emphasises the importance of people having medicines at the time they need them and wherever possible having information about their medicines.

Free Resources for Supporting Safe Use of Medicines in Care Homes

This is a comprehensive resource pack which was developed to enable care service providers to improve Medicines Management, help residents to understand their rights, and to develop safer working practices so that medicines are administered more safely and drug errors are reduced.

Three Main Points

  1. This is a free set of resources available to Care Homes to improve working practices in relation to medication.
  2. It includes a Charter to help residents understand their rights in relation to medication and what help they should get from their doctor, pharmacist and care staff.
  3. It also includes a Learner’s Work Book which can be used to train care staff responsible for administering medication.

NICE GUIDANCE – Management of Medicines in Care Homes

NICE has published guidance on the Management of Medicines in Care Homes. The guideline considers all aspects of managing medicines in Care Homes and recommends that all Care Home providers have a Care Home Medicines Policy. The policy should ensure that processes are in place for safe and effective use of medicines in the Care Home. Sections of the guideline provide recommendations for different aspects of managing medicines covered by the Care Home Medicines Policy.

Three Main Points

  1. This is the first social care guideline developed by NICE and will be used as a reference document by The Care Quality Commission.
  2. It outlines good practice in all aspects of Medicines Management in Care Homes and states that all Care Homes must have a medicines policy. It includes a checklist for Health and Social Care Staff developing and updating a Care Home Medicines Policy.
  3. It includes a Basement Assessment Tool to allow Care Homes to evaluate if their practice is in line with NICE guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

UKMI have produced a series of Question & Answer (Q&As) newsletters linked to Care Homes. When using the link below please read the disclaimer first at. The links below take you to NICE Evidence Search, then click on the relevant link.

Do oxygen cylinders need to be prescribed on an individual patient basis in residential nursing homes?

Why must some medicines be taken with or just after food, or a meal?

Why must some medicines be taken when the stomach is empty?

What should people do if they miss a dose of their medicine?

Crushing tablets or opening capsules in a care home setting

Three Main Points

  1. These are a list of answers to questions that Care Homes frequently ask about medicines.
  2. It includes information on use of oxygen cylinders.
  3. It includes information on why some medication needs to be given before or after food, what to do if you miss a dose and when tablets can be crushed or capsules opened.

Query Corner / News Updates

Useful websites include:

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Safetyinformation/index.htm

Local Issues

The Wirral Medicines Management website is at http://mm.wirral.nhs.uk/default.aspx. This is a useful resource for local guidelines, formulary chapters, newsletters amongst others.

Some links of importance to Care Home Staff include:

  1. The Wirral Formulary, including information around wound dresssings and the forms required for ordering dressings. Please go to: http://mm.wirral.nhs.uk/formulary/ and click on the links under Wound Dressings.
  2. Wirral Guidelines, please go to http://mm.wirral.nhs.uk/guidelines/
  3. Wirral Newsletters, please go to http://mm.wirral.nhs.uk/newsalerts/
  4. For Pharmacies that hold emergency stocks of CDs for palliative care, please go to our Other Topics page.
  5. All other topics, including Insulin Passport, Patient Group Directions, Medication Review amongst others, please go to http://mm.wirral.nhs.uk/OtherTopics/

Homely Remedies Guide

A homely remedy is a medicinal preparation used to treat minor ailments e.g.
indigestion, coughs, mild-moderate pain, constipation etc.  It is purchased from supermarkets and other stores (GSL) or obtained from the Pharmacy (P) and does not require a prescription. The Care Quality Commission agrees that a small range of products may be kept as stock in a care home for residents for the treatment of minor ailments.

Homely remedy products are kept in the home to allow access to products that would commonly be available in any household and allow treatment of minor conditions in a safe and timely manner. Use must however be discussed with the resident and/or family member and their GP and only the named preparations listed in the guidance may be obtained and administered without a prescription.

The Homely Remedies Guide gives information and decision making charts on indications and medications that can be currently used under this protocol.