The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2014) has published guidance on all aspects of managing medicines in nursing homes. However, the role of healthcare assistants in administering medicines to residents of care homes is poorly documented, and whether they should be performing this task has been raised by managers and staff. Often the concern is whether administering medicines is legal, or appropriate, especially if there is a registered nurse in the care home.
Some key points include:
- Nurses can delegate the administration of medicines to a care assistant, but they are accountable for making sure those medicines are administered correctly
- Care workers should only administer medicines they have been trained, and are competent, to give
- Any HCA accepting the delegated task must take responsibility for ensuring their actions are carried out safely and correctly
Alldred D.P. et al. (2009). Care home use of medicines study (CHUMS): Medication errors in nursing and residential care homes- prevalence, consequences, causes and solutions. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-mds/haps/projects/cfhep/psrp/finalreports/PS025CHUMS-FinalReportwithappendices.pdf
British Geriatrics Society (2011). Quest for quality. Retrieved March 14, 2017 from http://www.bgs.org.uk/campaigns/carehomes/quest_quality_care_homes.pdf
Centre for Policy on Aging (2012). Managing and administering medication in care homes for older people. Retrieved March 14, 2017 from http://www.cpa.org.uk/information/reviews/Managing_and_Administering_Medication_in_Care_Homes.pdf
National Care Forum (2013). Safety of medicines in the care home: Final project report- Phase Two. Retrieved March 14, 2017 from http://patientsafety.health.org.uk/sites/default/files/resources/safety_of_medicines_in_the_care_home_0.pdf
National Care Forum (2011). Medication safety in care homes: Project summary. Coventry: NCF.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2014). Managing medicines in care homes. Retrieved March 14, 2017 from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/sc1
Office for National Statistics (2014). Changes in the older resident care home population between 2001 and 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/ageing/articles/changesintheolderresidentcarehomepopulationbetween2001and2011/2014-08-01
Spilsbury K. et al. (2017). Guidance on administration of medicines by care assistants in nursing homes. Nursing Times 113 (2): 26-28. Retrieved March 13, 2017 from https://www.nursingtimes.net/download?ac=3024062