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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 24 April 2014
Date of Publication: 30 May 2014
Inspection Report published 30 May 2014 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 carried out a visit on 24 April 2014, observed how people were being cared for, 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 staff.

We used the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI). SOFI is a specific way of observing care to help us understand the experience of people who could not talk with us.

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

Medicines were kept safely. A lockable medication trolley was stored in the manager’s office and secured to a wall in line with best practice guidelines. The provider had a double locking controlled drug cabinet and a medication fridge for the appropriate storage of medication.

Medicines were handled appropriately and administered safely. A member of staff explained, “Medication comes in cassettes, they are pre packed at the pharmacy but we check them when they are delivered to make sure everything is right” and went on to say, “The cassettes are great, you just pop the medication out at the time and date and that’s it.”

Medicines were disposed of appropriately. A member of staff said, “Any medication that is refused or no longer needed is returned to the pharmacy.” We saw the provider’s ‘returns’ sheet that confirmed unused medication was returned to the supplying pharmacy to be disposed of.

The provider may find it useful to note, fridge and room temperatures were not recorded to ensure that medicines were stored as directed by the manufacturer. Failure to store medication at recommended temperatures can cause them to lose potency. We highlighted this to the registered manager who informed us that this would be rectified immediately.

We saw that the provider’s supplying pharmacy had recently completed an audit and that all of the recommendations, including the procurement of a new controlled drugs cabinet had been implemented.

The provider had a number of policies to guide staff in relation to the safe handling, storage and control of medication. We saw ‘medication’, ‘medication administration’, ‘covert’, ‘dispensing’ and ‘secure storage’ policies.

We saw that the provider had contacted one person’s GP when they persistently refused to take their prescribed medication. The registered manager told us, “We were having issues so informed the person’s GP who sent us a letter confirming that it was in the person best interest to give them their medication covertly.” We saw evidence to confirm authorisation had been given to supply medication to the person who used the service covertly.