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Best Practice Service Update

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Top 12 CQC Medicines Inspection Areas

We examined 80 CQC inspection reports from a range of different services (rated as outstanding to inadequate from August to December 2023). This allowed us to rank the most commonly inspected areas for medication by CQC (KLOE S4) to find out: where CQC inspectors are...

When do CQC say a witness is needed?

CQC inspect against NICE guidelines (1) that state, that in care homes, a witness is needed when: Staff members add (or amend) medicines on medicines administration records (MARs), and when controlled drugs (CDs) are received, administered, or returned for disposal. Do you need a witness...

How often, and how, should medication training be repeated and competence assessed?

Regulation 18 of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 states there needs to be sufficient numbers of trained staff available, but gives no more detail than that. Hence, CQC refer to NICE guidelines which state: For care homes (1): “Good Practise is represented by...

Medicines storage in a heatwave

With the increasing temperatures the UK now faces in the summer, do you need to take any action with your medicine storage? Note: this advice applies to care homes and schools. In a person’s own home the care provider is not responsible for conditions in...

Reuse of medicines in care homes during COVID-19

With the risk that COVID-19 might affect the availability of medicines, NHS England issued new guidance for care homes allowing them to re-use medicines between residents, rather than destroy them or send them back to the pharmacy. The full guidance is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-reuse-of-medicines-in-a-care-home-or-hospice). This guidance...

Blister packs are being withdrawn – what’s really happening?

In January, Boots announced they’ll no longer supply blister packs (or as we pharmacists call them – monitored dosage systems) to care homes: both new and existing ones. Lloyds pharmacy followed by saying they’ll no longer supply blister packs to new care homes and they’ll...

Gabapentin and pregabalin – controlled drugs demystified

Gabapentin and pregabalin were reclassified as controlled drugs (CDs) back in April 2019, yet many health and social care providers still seem unsure how to treat them. Are they controlled drugs? In short, yes they are controlled drugs but no, they do not need to...

MHRA extends fire risk to emollients containing any amount of liquid paraffin

If you find this article useful, sign up for updates when new articles are published (on the left hand side or bottom of the screen for mobiles). Emollients are moisturising creams, ointments, lotions and gels applied to the skin to treat dry skin conditions such...

Medicines storage: do care homes really need to monitor room temperature?

Summary NICE guidelines fail to give clear advice on whether room temperatures need monitoring for medicines stored in care homes. We recommend that care homes in England should follow the same advice that applies to pharmacies in England and care homes in Scotland, namely: If...

Managing (and learning from) medication errors.

In this update, I will cover which types of medication error need reporting to the CQC and safeguarding, as well as how to investigate and learn from medication errors. If you find this article useful, sign up for updates when new articles are published (on...

New advice from NICE (2017) means all medicines support should be recorded on a medicines chart

Summary: Following new advice from NICE (March 2017) for community settings [1], all medicines support provided to a person should be recorded on a medicines chart. NICE may apply this to care homes with the next revision of their medicines guidelines. If you find this...

Covert Administration of Medicines

Recent Court of Protection Ruling on Covert Medication – 6th July 2016 A recent Court of Protection ruling on the administration of covert medication has implications for all care settings. In this training update, John Greene (Lead Trainer, Prescription Training) looks at this Court of Protection ruling,...

Review of Expiry Date Advice

Some manufacturers state that for certain items like creams, oral liquids, eye drops etc. the product must be discarded X days or months after first opening. If this is the case, the manufacturer will print a once-opened/discard-by date on the package. It may also be...
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