Medication in health and social care
Medication in health and social care
The report that follows is a review of the final report from the LA, that I will present in the next team meeting. In the discussion I will refer mostly at the National Standards regarding the administration of medication (current UK standards and current legislation, national enquiries). To produce a good report, I need to include the risks of medication to service users, staff and organisation using examples from our context. In order to achieve the best results for my promotion, I need to structure clearly my report in such a manner that invites team members to express their opinion and to bring useful contribution through examples, for the best interest of our organisation. Good practice in the administration of medication is essential for users of health and social care services. For that, the social workers need to know the National standards requirements regarding the administration of medicines and the principles and policies on medicines handling and records.
Handling of medication requires knowledge on ordering, maintaining, administration, storage, recording and disposal of medication; the National standards refer to current standards and legislation, codes of practice and policies, national enquiries, ethical issues and risks for the service user. The current legislation that apply to the handling of medication comprises: The Medicine Act 1968, The Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973, The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (1999) (COSHH), Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005). All care organisations and nursing services are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and they must comply with the Care Standards Act 2000 and the National Minimum Standards. From the National Minimum Standards (NMS), the legislation that refers the most to the specific needs of our organisation regarding the medication is the Standard 9 of the NMS for care homes for older people, which gives information to the staff about the procedures of recording, storage, handling, administration and disposal of medicines, and also to the service users in concerns of their responsibility and risks for taking their own medication.
Our organisation provides services for vulnerable people from diverse backgrounds, such as people with mental problems, with mental difficulties, and people with acquired brain damage. The mental condition of our clients imposes to the staff to be very careful regarding the management of medicines and the risks associated with unsafe use of medication. First of all, the staff needs to have the necessary knowledge about medicines and the classification of medicines. Some of them, like Oramorph Concentrated Solution or Morphine, are very dangerous Controlled Drugs, so the care workers need to know the medicines indications, the necessary dosages and the side effects. The controlled Drugs must be kept in a locked metal cupboard and it can be administered by appropriately trained staff or by a registered nurse, in case that the patients receives nursing care.
Older people can take several medications and errors can happen; to avoid any misuse of medicine, there should be kept a record of current medication for each service user. Regarding the Controlled Drugs, there is a register where there are recorded information about their administration and disposal. In the case that the staff monitoring the patients seizes any change in their condition, they need to announce the GP in order to review the medication. Between our patients, there are few that take their own medication, so we need to ensure that we provide them the necessary information in understanding their medical prescription properly. However, having in view that they have learning difficulties, they are assessed and monitored all the time in order to ensure that the process of taking their medicine is done accordingly.