A comprehensive resource pack has been developed to enable care service providers to improve medicines management, help residents to understand their rights, and to develop safer working practices so that medicines may be administered more safely and drug errors are reduced.
Improving medication management in care homes is a system-wide issue, which needs to be tackled by many different groups working together. A partnership was formed to try and address some of the issues raised by the Care Homes’ Use of Medicines Study (CHUMS) and ongoing concerns about safety and standards related to medication prescribing, administration and management in care homes.
The partnership, led by the National Care Forum (on behalf of the Care Provider Alliance) involved: the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal College of Nursing, the Health Foundation and Age UK.
Representatives from a range of professional bodies, plus a number of health and social care professionals working in and with care homes (a full list of members involved in the group is provided at the back of the final summary report) pooled their knowledge and expertise to develop a range of practical solutions and tools which would help residents and care home staff as well as doctors and pharmacists to reduce the incidence of medication errors and near misses in care homes.
From March 2012 through to February 2013, over 160 homes participated in the testing of prototype resources and enabled the development of a comprehensive pack of materials to support improvements across the sector, improving the quality and safety of care for all care home residents.
Free resources for supporting the safe use of medications in care facilities are now available from the NCF website http://www.nationalcareforum.org.uk/viewNews.asp?news_ID=1015§or_id=2
The National Care Forum works to promote best practice in the delivery of quality care and support services.