National Learning & Development Forum 2012

Session E was an update on Medication and the Safety of Medicines and was given by Pat Bailey, Project Manager and Past President of Social Care Association.

Pat explained that this was a partnership project led by the National Care Forum on behalf of Care Provider Alliance working with the Royal Colleges, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Age UK and the Health Foundation. The project is called the Care Homes Use of Medicines (CHUMS) report.

Extensive research has been carried out at 55 care homes and the findings are –
residents take an average of 8 medicines daily
on any one day 7 out of 10 residents experience mistakes
doses are being missed or given incorrectly
wrong medicines are given out
medicines are given to wrong people
homes need to simplify the act of giving medication
staff must be appropriately trained
improved communication needed between care home, GP’s and pharmacists
need for IT solutions to help with records
improved accuracy of medication record (MAR)

Pat went on to say that there should be 4 stages to the medication process –
Prescribing
Dispensing
Administration
Review

As a result of the work undertaken by the partnership several prototypes had been produced to address the problems and they are to be tested in care homes across the country with the participation of GP’s and pharmacists.

Pat closed by saying that the project is looking for care homes to take part in trialling the prototypes.

Session F covered Infection Control and was presented by Peter Cowling, Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals Foundation Trust & Chair of the Norovirus Working Party.

Peter opened by describing the precautions to be taken when Norovirus is suspected. He said that there should be segregation until 48 hours were symptom free. Specimens need to be sent for analysis to conform Norovirus and a report should be sent to the Health Protection Unit.

There is a need to break the chain of transmission by –
Isolating people
Using en-suite toilet facilities
Rigorous cleaning of shared facilities
Single use equipment
Segregated disposal of waste
Appropriate laundry – high temperatures
Maintenance and monitoring regime
Scrupulous soap and water hand washing
Minimal use of invasive devices
Aseptic techniques (sterile)
Antimicrobial prescribing (too much anti-biotic?)
Staff exclusion policy
He continued by saying the a clear Infection, Prevention & Control Policy is needed with staff immunisation and service user immunisation fully covered. He suggested that staff immunisation should cover –
Influenza
Tetanus
Tuberculosis
Hepatitis B
Rubella
Measles
And that service users should have –
Pneumococcus
Influenza
Tetanus
Peter closed by reminding everyone that guidelines on various infections, including Norovirus, are available free from the Health Protection Agency
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