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Ordering, Storing, Transporting and Disposal of Medicines in Domiciliary Care Policy

Policy Statement

This policy applies where a domiciliary care service accepts responsibility for ordering, storing, transporting and/or disposing of a service user’s medicines. It is produced in line with the guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE):

The policy should be used in relation to other medicines support policies (also based on NICE guidance) for domiciliary care, including:

Ordering Medicines (Where Applicable)

In exceptional cases, the agency might be asked to order medicines for a service user. In which case, the agency will follow NICE (2017) guidance as follows.

Storing of Medicines (Where Applicable)

Where the agency agrees to support a service user with their medicines, it will always ensure that the medicines are kept safe and securely stored in the person’s home, working in partnership with all involved to achieve this.

If a person is at risk because of unsecured access to their medicines (thereby also making it more difficult for the agency to provide safe medicines support), care providers should agree with the person and/or their family members or carers if secure home storage is needed, for example, a lockable cupboard with access restricted only to those who need to have it.

This is particularly important if the user is prescribed controlled drugs.

With some medicines fridge storage might be needed with some monitoring of the fridge and ambient temperatures built into the care plan.

Care workers responsible for providing medicines’ support must always report and seek professional advice if they find that the medicines are being incorrectly stored.

Transporting of Medicines (Where Applicable)

Most medicines will be kept in the person’s home, and if it has been agreed that care workers should collect prescriptions (in line with the Prescriptions Collection Policy) they will usually leave them at the person’s home for safe keeping.

The agency will carry out a risk assessment before agreeing to its staff being involved in any transporting of a person’s medicines.

Disposal of Medicines (Where Applicable)

If the agency agrees to the disposal of any unwanted, damaged, out-of-date or part-used medicines on behalf of the service user, it will first obtain agreement from the person (or their family member or carer) on how the medicines should be safely disposed of.

The procedures should be in line with local policies, which are usually to return them to a pharmacy for safe disposal with special considerations given for the disposal of controlled drugs, needles and syringes, which also in line with local procedures could involve using a licensed waste disposal service.

The agency will consult local pharmacists, health professionals and the local authority waste disposal service over the correct procedures for any specific products.

The agency will keep a record of the actions taken, including the name and quantity of medicine, the name of the person returning the medicine, the date returned and the name of the pharmacy to which the medicines have been returned.

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