You are here

Archived: Dilston College

All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 21 January 2014
Date of Publication: 20 February 2014
Inspection Report published 20 February 2014 PDF | 85.84 KB

People should be given the medicines they need when they need them, and in a safe way (outcome 9)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • 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.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 21 January 2014, observed how people were being cared for and checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care. We talked with people who use the service, talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff and talked with commissioners of services.

We were supported on this inspection by an expert-by-experience. This is a person who has personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses this type of care service.

Our judgement

People were protected against the risks associated with medicines because the provider had appropriate arrangements in place to manage medicines.

Reasons for our judgement

We looked at how the provider managed medicines and found that appropriate arrangements were in place.

We asked students about the administration of their medication. They told us they always received their medication. One student said, "I take Epilim. The staff help me with it, every day." Another person told us, "Staff help me with medicine."

Accommodation on the college site comprised of three flats within the main college building and three cottages in the surrounding grounds. We visited a mixture of these accommodations to see how medication was managed within each of these individual settings. We found that in all accommodations medication was stored appropriately. Each student's medication was labelled individually and held in their own individual box within a large plastic storage container. There was a designated shelf within a locked cupboard where only medication and medication records were stored. We checked a random sample of medication in each accommodation and found that it was within its expiry date and stored in the correctly labelled containers.

There was also a central store of medication in a locked medication room, in the senior support staff office, within the main college building. We checked how these central stocks of medication were stored, processed and managed. Staff told us that only one person was administered controlled drugs at the time of our inspection and we saw that these drugs were stored appropriately and the quantities present tallied with records kept. Controlled drugs (or controlled medicines) are prescription medicines which contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. Stricter legal controls apply to controlled medicines to prevent them from being misused, obtained illegally and causing harm. Within this medication room there was also a fridge for the sole use of storing medication which was to be kept refrigerated. Access to medication in all areas across the college site was restricted to a small number of staff on duty, who signed for the keys when taking possession of them. We found that medicines were stored safely and appropriately.

Students' care records showed that the provider had assessed their abilities to administer their own medication and individualised care plans related to this had been drafted. This meant that staff had clear information about their role in the administration of medication. Where people were self-medicating, or working towards this goal, a risk assessment had been conducted and recorded. In addition, medication administration records (MARs) were highlighted in yellow so staff were easily able to identify these students and their records. A senior support worker told us, and we saw that measures were in place where people did administer their own medication, (or they were working towards this), to ensure they were competent and confident enough to do so. For instance, checklists were in place where staff monitored students for a period of time to ensure they administered medication correctly when prompted. Records showed that formal weekly checks of the medication stocks in each of the accommodation settings were conducted by the senior support staff member responsible for that unit. These measures showed that the provider encouraged people to remain independent by retaining ownership of the administration of their own medication (where they were both willing and able to), whilst at the same time, supporting them to do so safely.

We looked at a sample of MARs and saw that these were complete and up to date. Staff who held responsibility for administering medication had signed to indicate they had given individual students their medication at the appropriate times and a second staff member had also signed as a witness. Where students were self-medicating, they themselves had signed the MAR and one staff member had acted as a second signature in the process. We saw that where students were on leave or refused to take