Following their inspections, CQC have published a report sharing what they have learnt from risks and good practice in medicines.
A link to the report can be found here – https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20190605_medicines_in_health_and_adult_social_care_report.pdf
Providers are advised to review the recommendations made in the report and consider how they are enabling service users to have timely access to the right medicines to meet their needs in a person centred and safe way.
Based on the risks identified with medicines use in adult social care settings, CQC encourage adult social care providers to take the following action to ensure that medicines are managed safely:
- Adopting best practice guidance will improve safety and outcomes for people, specifically NICE guidance for managing medicines in care homes (SC1) and in the community (NG67). As well as care providers, this is also relevant for commissioners, GPs, pharmacists and healthcare professionals.
- Providers of adult social care should consider having an attached or named pharmacist to support staff with medicines management issues. More specifically, closer working can help to implement guidance and training on administering medicines covertly, ‘when required’ (PRN) medicines, and those required as part of end of life care.
- Training staff and assessing their competency in handling and administering medicines should be an ongoing priority. It should be clear who is responsible for training staff about medicines and that this training is kept up-to-date.
- It should be made clear who has ongoing clinical responsibility and oversight of medicines. Expectations around responsibility should be clear in the contracts that local authorities and CCG commissioners issue to providers.
- The new role of nursing associate may help to ease pressure on nursing staff in care homes, but providers must make sure that they are deployed safely and effectively, with the appropriate competencies and supervision when their work involves medicines.
- Adopting NHS England initiatives such as Enhanced Health in Care Homes and Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes can help drive improvement by involving pharmacists and providing joined-up primary, community and secondary care to residents of care and nursing homes