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Medicines information for adult social care services

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  • Organisations we regulate

Find the medicines information for adult social care by type of care setting.

Or see the full list of medicines information for adult social care services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated date: Tuesday 28 April 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During the coronavirus pandemic, there have been calls for care homes to be able to keep anticipatory medicines for end of life care. These would be intended for use when a normal supply might not be possible.
Updated date: Friday 15 May 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will regularly update this resource to reflect the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please check back for the latest update.
Updated date: Tuesday 28 April 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Social care providers must securely maintain accurate and up-to-date records about medicines for each person receiving medicines support.
Updated date: Thursday 9 July 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. When protecting vulnerable people who may not understand social distancing guidelines, you must act in a way that is proportionate, pragmatic, safe, and focused on the best interests of individuals and the wider system.
Updated date: Friday 15 May 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Care staff should involve people in decisions about their treatment and care. People should get the support they need to help them to take a full part in making decisions.
Updated date: Friday 15 May 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. National bodies representing community pharmacy in England have jointly produced guidance for medicine returns.
Updated date: Tuesday 5 May 2020
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Medicines re-use should only be considered where there is an immediate need for the medicine, and either no other stocks are available or no suitable alternatives exist for an individual.

Care homes

There will be times when people spend time away from their residential care setting. When this happens, it is vital to consider the safe continuity of medicines supply.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During the coronavirus pandemic, there have been calls for care homes to be able to keep anticipatory medicines for end of life care. These would be intended for use when a normal supply might not be possible.
Gabapentin and pregabalin are now Schedule 3 controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and Class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Covert administration is when medicines are administered in a disguised format.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will regularly update this resource to reflect the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please check back for the latest update.
A care worker supporting people with their medicines must be appropriately trained and competent to carry out this task.
All care settings should have a written policy for the safe disposal of surplus, unwanted or expired medicines.
This information reflects new International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative guidelines adopted from 1 April 2018.
During end of life care, one clinician should be responsible for a person’s medicines. This will depend on where the person lives but would usually be their GP. In some cases, hospice teams may give support.
Enteral feeding tubes provide access to the stomach or jejunum (small intestine). They are used in cases where there is an obstruction or difficulty in swallowing.
External medicines can include creams, ointments, lotions and patches.
You will need to use a fluid administration chart if a person is at risk of dehydration.
Sharps injuries are a well-known risk in the health and social care sector. Sharps contaminated with an infected patient's blood can transmit more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B, C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Social care providers must securely maintain accurate and up-to-date records about medicines for each person receiving medicines support.
Anticoagulants are used to prevent the blood from clotting as normal and are therefore used to treat and prevent blood clots.
Insulin is a hormone which helps to regulate metabolism and lowers blood glucose levels.
Lithium salts are usually used as mood stabilisers, for example, in the management and treatment of mania, hypomania and recurrent depression, in bipolar disorder and sometimes for aggressive behaviour.
Sodium valproate and valproic acid are known collectively as valproate. Brands include Epilim, Depakote, Convulex, Episenta, Epival, Kentlim, Orlept, Syonell and Valpaland. There are other generic brands.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. When protecting vulnerable people who may not understand social distancing guidelines, you must act in a way that is proportionate, pragmatic, safe, and focused on the best interests of individuals and the wider system.
Oxygen has been widely used medically for many years. It is a gas and you should treat it as a medicine.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Care staff should involve people in decisions about their treatment and care. People should get the support they need to help them to take a full part in making decisions.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. National bodies representing community pharmacy in England have jointly produced guidance for medicine returns.
Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are used to prevent seizures. This can include seizures caused by epilepsy as well as non-epilepsy seizures.
Medicines reconciliation is the process of accurately listing a person’s medicines. This could be when they're admitted into a service or when their treatment changes.
You might use a range of different MCAs in adult social care settings. They should not be the first choice intervention to help people manage their medicines.
Information about a range of frequently used non-prescription medicines which people can buy over the counter to treat minor illnesses.
Polypharmacy refers to prescribing or use of more than a certain number of medicines, such as ten or more.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Medicines re-use should only be considered where there is an immediate need for the medicine, and either no other stocks are available or no suitable alternatives exist for an individual.
NICE guidance on managing medicines in care homes (SC1) states that care home providers should ensure that a robust process is in place for identifying, reporting, reviewing and learning from medicines errors involving residents.
'Self-administration' is when a person in a care home can look after and take their own medicines.
Care homes with nursing services usually hold medicines labelled for people but may also consider holding stocks of controlled drugs, particularly if people are at the end of their lives.
This guidance describes how you must manage medicines which need to be in the 'cold chain'.
Medicines should be stored in a way that means they are safe and will be effective when administered.
Information about the use of time sensitive medicines in adult social care services.
Appropriate training, support and competency makes care safe, high quality and consistent.
PRN medicines are prescribed to treat various conditions and should be taken when required by the patient.
NICE launched a campaign to encourage health commissioners and local authorities to have written agreements. These agreements should set out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support. The guiding principles are also useful for staff working in care homes.

Home care

These are some of the key points from the NICE guidance about administration of medicines for adults in community settings.
Gabapentin and pregabalin are now Schedule 3 controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, and Class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Covert administration is when medicines are administered in a disguised format.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We will regularly update this resource to reflect the rapidly changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please check back for the latest update.
A care worker supporting people with their medicines must be appropriately trained and competent to carry out this task.
This information reflects new International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative guidelines adopted from 1 April 2018.
Enteral feeding tubes provide access to the stomach or jejunum (small intestine). They are used in cases where there is an obstruction or difficulty in swallowing.
External medicines can include creams, ointments, lotions and patches.
You will need to use a fluid administration chart if a person is at risk of dehydration.
Sharps injuries are a well-known risk in the health and social care sector. Sharps contaminated with an infected patient's blood can transmit more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B, C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Social care providers must securely maintain accurate and up-to-date records about medicines for each person receiving medicines support.
Anticoagulants are used to prevent the blood from clotting as normal and are therefore used to treat and prevent blood clots.
Insulin is a hormone which helps to regulate metabolism and lowers blood glucose levels.
Lithium salts are usually used as mood stabilisers, for example, in the management and treatment of mania, hypomania and recurrent depression, in bipolar disorder and sometimes for aggressive behaviour.
Sodium valproate and valproic acid are known collectively as valproate. Brands include Epilim, Depakote, Convulex, Episenta, Epival, Kentlim, Orlept, Syonell and Valpaland. There are other generic brands.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Care staff should involve people in decisions about their treatment and care. People should get the support they need to help them to take a full part in making decisions.
The guidance on this page applies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. National bodies representing community pharmacy in England have jointly produced guidance for medicine returns.
Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are used to prevent seizures. This can include seizures caused by epilepsy as well as non-epilepsy seizures.
Medicines reconciliation is the process of accurately listing a person’s medicines. This could be when they're admitted into a service or when their treatment changes.
Medicines support is any support that enables a person to manage their medicines. These are some of the key points from the NICE guidance about managing medicines for adults in community settings.
The person receiving medicines support will usually be responsible for ordering, transporting, storing and disposing of their medicines. But, if you take on this responsibility, you need to have appropriate processes in place.
Information about a range of frequently used non-prescription medicines which people can buy over the counter to treat minor illnesses.
Polypharmacy refers to prescribing or use of more than a certain number of medicines, such as ten or more.
NICE guidance on managing medicines in care homes (SC1) states that care home providers should ensure that a robust process is in place for identifying, reporting, reviewing and learning from medicines errors involving residents.
Information about the use of time sensitive medicines in adult social care services.
Appropriate training, support and competency makes care safe, high quality and consistent.
You might use a range of different MCAs in home care services. They should not be the first choice intervention to help people manage their medicines.
NICE launched a campaign to encourage health commissioners and local authorities to have written agreements. These agreements should set out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support. The guiding principles are also useful for staff working in care homes.

Shared Lives schemes

Shared Lives Schemes register with CQC to provide personal care. Medicines administration is an ancillary activity to personal care and regulated by CQC. We regulate at scheme level, through agency locations.

Supported living

A CQC registered provider may provide personal care to a person in a supported living scheme and also administer their medicines. The medicines administration is considered ‘ancillary to’ the personal care they are receiving.

 

Last updated:
20 July 2020