Part 4 - Skills for Care

HSC 3047 : Part 4
Support the use of medication in social care settings
Receive, store and dispose of medication supplies safely.
Sheena Helyer 01.2013
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Medication policy and job description
• Local medication policies will outline how much a
community carer may assist with ordering medication, receipt
of medication, delivering medication and recording the arrival
of medication in the home. The package of care and care plan
will outline exactly what care should be provided.
• All care staff administering medication must read their local
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• The job description of the member of staff should reflect the
responsibilities they have in administering medicine
Receive, store and dispose of medication
Delivering medicine
• Most medication given by care staff will be long term
medication. Repeat prescriptions will need to be sent to the
pharmacy at least a week before the end of each 4 week
cycle as it may take several days before the tablets are
delivered to the home.
• Occasionally the service user may have an acute illness and
need urgent medication and efforts will have to be made to
start the medicine the same day it is prescribed. Care staff
should only collect medicine if this is allowed by the local
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Information for the service user
Many people are completely capable of managing their own
medicine, they just need a bit of help and information to make that
Care staff should ensure that the person knows:• Why they are having the medicine
• What time of day they should take it
• If they should take it before, during or after meals
• Any side effects they should expect
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Information for the service user
Information about medication can be accessed from many
sources:• The product information supplied with the medication
• The person’s pharmacist or GP
• The British National Formulary: BNF (an up to date
version should be available in the office)
• The internet or local library
Receive, store and dispose of medication
Documenting medication
• If care workers are responsible for administering medication,
it must be recorded when it arrives in the home.
• Some pharmacies will send an accompanying MAR
(medication administration record) sheet with the medicine
where the care worker can record the number of tablets
sent and the date of arrival.
• If no MAR chart has been sent then a hand written record
must be kept using the local form and all care recorded in the
care plan.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Daily record of medication administration
• Every dose of medication which is administered must be recorded
• Any medicine which is NOT given must be explained, for example:• Service user had been vomiting
• Service user refused the medication
• Service user was in hospital
• If medication is being given ‘as required’ it must be made clear in
the plan of care what the medication is to be given for e.g. Movicol
to be given if the service user has not had a bowel movement for 2
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
What medicine can the care worker give?
• Only medicine which is on the recording sheet and labelled
correctly by the pharmacy can be given.
• Other homely remedies, over the counter medicine and
vitamins cannot be given.
• Tablets left in pots and unlabelled containers cannot be given.
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Safe storage
• Medication should be kept in a clean dry place which is not
exposed to extremes of temperature.
• Medication should not be stored over 25c. Aerosols and
oxygen must be kept away from heat sources.
• Medication should be kept in a neat orderly manner and
expired medication should be returned to the pharmacy with
the permission of the service user.
• Medication must be kept out of reach of pets and children
who may be visiting.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Keeping medicine in the fridge
• Some medicines such as antibiotics, insulin or eye drops may
need to be kept between 2-8c in the fridge.
• These should be kept in a separate container from the food
and away from children and vulnerable adults.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
What if the service starts to lose mental capacity?
• Care staff must be alert for signs that a service is becoming more
confused or may be taking medication inappropriately.
• Any behaviour which causes concern must be recorded and fed
back to the service manager.
• The person’s GP will need to establish the cause of the confusion
• If necessary there should be a ‘best interest’ meeting of all involved
to decide on the best way forward. A plan should be drawn up
which is minimally restrictive.
• Medicine might need to
be put in a place
where the service user
does not have
access to it.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
There may be a number of different people and agencies involved in
supporting a vulnerable person at home so there needs to be a high
level of coordination and liaison to prevent misunderstandings and
mistakes with medication.
The following may be helpful:• Regular meetings
• Plan for shared care which clarifies the responsibilities of all
• Shared documentation and message book
• Keeping all contact numbers on mobile phone
• Regular phone contact / text messages
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Controlled drugs
• There are no laws about how controlled drugs in the home
should be kept. They are now the property of the service
user but can only legally be used by the person for whom
they have been prescribed.
• If care staff are administering CDs it is good practice to keep
an exact record of the number of tablets/patches on the
• If any go missing the service manager must be informed
• If staff are involved in collecting or returning CDs they should
carry ID and sign the pharmacy records.
• It is good practice to ask for a receipt for CDs which can be
given to the service manager.
Receive, store and dispose of medication
Disposal of medication
• Any unused, unwanted or expired medication should be
returned to the local pharmacy for disposal.
• Medicines should not be put into household waste containers
or flushed down the toilet as they may cause environmental
contamination or danger to others.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
Medication Errors
Good systems of work and good training will help to eliminate errors
but if they do occur there must be complete honesty and
transparency about what has happened.
Local policies must be followed but will usually involve the following:• Reporting the error to the service user, the service manager,
the GP and close family members.
• Careful monitoring of the service user’s medical condition
• Review of what went wrong to prevent reoccurrence.
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Receive, store and dispose of medication
What happens now?
1. Learner attends all the taught sessions for the unit
2. Learner completes the work book and hands to their
3. Learner makes an appointment to meet their assessor in
the work place.
4. Practical procedures and skills are observed in the work
place by the assessor and assessed.
5. The evidence is reviewed by the internal verifier.
6. A certificate of completion is issued.
7. The learner is now considered competent to administer
Receive, store and dispose of medication

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