Issues around administration of medication

Issue 2 – Fitness to practise newsletter for social service workers and employers 

FtP workers and employers enewsMany job roles in social services involve administering (or assisting with administering) medication either to an individual or to several people as part of a drug round.

You will often work with other staff to administer a wide range of medications from controlled medicines to applying ointments or providing dietary supplements to individuals.

This activity may be carried out in a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential and nursing homes, hospices, nurseries, residential child care settings and in a person’s own home.

This information will be of particular interest to those who work in residential child care and care home services for adults as they may routinely give medication to people using the service as a part of their job.

Some of the common issues that are referred to us about medication are:

  • failure to give the correct medication or dose
  • failure to record in care plans/medication administration record (MAR) sheets
  • failure to accurately write up the dosage requirements on admission/discharge
  • failure to follow the correct procedures, for example not using the correct measuring or dispensing equipment or ensuring that medication administration is observed and countersigned.

SSSC Codes of Practice

Each case is different and because of this, different parts of the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers can be broken. However, there are some common themes, which are:

2.1. being honest and trustworthy

2.4  being reliable and dependable

5.1  you must not abuse, neglect or harm service users, carers or colleagues

6.1  meeting relevant standards of practice and working in a lawful, safe and effective way

6.2  maintaining clear and accurate records as required by procedures established by your work.

Examples of cases about medication and the outcomes

We have selected a number of past decisions that highlight how we view medication issues. Some decisions were made by officers with the consent of the registrant and others were made after a hearing. All have previously been published on our website.

We hope these examples will help you to understand the public protection and public interest concerns that they raise and that they can help to inform your practise.

 

Case 1: Care home service for adults. Concerns signing a medical administration record (MAR) sheet without checking the level and type of a prescribed medication.

Case 2: Care home service for adults. Signed for a controlled drug without witnessing its administration.

Case 3: Care home service for adults. Failures in connection with MAR sheets and failure to communicate medication incident to colleagues.

Case 4: Residential child care service. Failure to administer medication correctly.

Case 5: Care home service for adults. Failures in connection with cross checking administration of medication and failure to communicate a medication incident to colleagues.

Do you want to know more about fitness to practise?

We must make sure, as far as possible, that workers are fit to practise in social services. We must be confident of the good character, conduct and competence of the people on our Register. Find out about our fitness to practise role on our website.

Read our other fitness to practise newsletters

An introduction to fitness to practise for social service workers
An introduction to fitness to practise for employers
Why is how social service workers behave outside of work important?
Treating people who use services with dignity and respect

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