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Archived: HomeCare (Mellor) Good

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 9 May 2013
Date of Publication: 14 June 2013
Inspection Report published 14 June 2013 PDF

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 9 May 2013, checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members, talked with staff and reviewed information given to us by the provider.

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

The agency had a clear policy and detailed procedures in place that addressed all areas of medication management. We were able to confirm that these were regularly reviewed and updated in line with any changing legislation or guidance.

We were also able to confirm that the agency had a thorough approach to staff training in the safe handling of medication. On the day of our visit, several staff members were attending a full day medication course at the office. All these staff members had recently started and were not yet providing care to people.

We looked at the training being provided and noted that it was a full day course, supported by further independent learning and workbooks. The training manager advised us that all staff members were required to fully complete the course and pass an observed competence assessment before supporting any service users with their medication. It was pleasing to note that the observed competence assessment was repeated every six months to ensure staff were maintaining their skills and knowledge.

There was a good level of information included in people’s care plans about the assistance they required to take their medicines. We looked at the care plan of one person for who there were some risks associated with medication and found there to be good guidance and safeguards in place to protect him.

Some people who used the service were prescribed medication on an ‘as and when required’ basis. We were able to confirm that there was a good level of information in their care plans regarding when these medicines should be given. This information would help ensure people were supported to have their medicines when they needed them.

We viewed a selection of medication administration records and found that they were in general, completed in an appropriate manner. However, the provider may wish to note that we saw some examples where actual dosages were not clear on the records. It is important to ensure that all dosages are clear so that it can always be ascertained what a service user has taken.

The provider may wish to note that we also saw some omissions on medication administration records. We discussed these with the manager of the service and were able to establish that they were as a result of people refusing the dose. We advised the manager to always ensure that refusals were clearly recorded.

In discussion, the manager advised us that a new process was due to be implemented, which would strengthen the agency’s safety checks and auditing of medication records and stock. It was planned that spot checks of actual medication balances would be carried out on a regular basis which would help ensure that people were receiving their medicines as prescribed.