Quality statement 1: Assessing medicines support needs

Quality statement

Adults having an assessment for social care in the community have their medicines support needs included in the assessment.

Rationale

People's medicines support needs should be assessed as part of an overall assessment of needs and preferences for social care in the community, and then as needed. This helps people and their families or carers to share their aims and goals for how they manage their medicines. It also allows them to agree any support needed from services to take medicines safely and effectively.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence that assessments of an adult's needs and preferences for social care in the community include assessment of their medicines support needs.

Data source: Local data collection, for example from assessment forms.

Process

Proportion of adults having an assessment for social care in the community who have their medicines support needs included in the assessment.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who have their medicines support needs included in the assessment.

Denominator – the number of adults having an assessment for social care in the community.

Data source: Local data collection, for example audit of assessments for social care in the community.

Outcome

Satisfaction of people receiving social care in the community that their medicines support meets their needs and preferences.

Data source: Local data collection, for example service user and carer satisfaction surveys.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (services assessing social care needs) ensure that procedures for assessing an adult's needs and preferences for social care in the community include an assessment of medicines support needs. Assessments of medicines support needs are then carried out as needed. Staff who assess medicines support needs are trained and have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience.

Commissioners (local authorities) ensure that services responsible for assessing people's need for social care in the community have systems in place to assess people's medicines support needs as part of the needs and preferences for social care in the community, and then as needed.

Adults being assessed for social care support at home (and their families or carers, if appropriate) are asked about any medicines they are taking and whether they need help to use or look after them. This is checked again at an agreed time to make sure they have the support they need.

Source guidance

Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community (2017) NICE guideline NG67, recommendation 1.2.1

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Medicines

All prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) healthcare treatments, such as oral medicines, topical medicines, inhaled products, injections, wound care products, appliances and vaccines.

[NICE's guideline on managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community]

Medicines support needs

Medicines support needs should focus on how the person can be supported to manage their own medicines, taking into account:

  • the person's needs and preferences, including their social, cultural, emotional, religious and spiritual needs

  • the person's expectations for confidentiality and advance care planning

  • the person's understanding of why they are taking their medicines

  • what they are able to do and what support is needed, for example, reading medicine labels, using inhalers or applying creams

  • how they currently manage their medicines, for example, how they order, store and take their medicines

  • whether they have any problems taking their medicines, particularly if they are taking multiple medicines

  • whether they have nutritional and hydration needs, including the need for nutritional supplements or parenteral nutrition

  • who to contact about their medicines (ideally the person themselves, if they choose to and are able to, or a family member, carer or care coordinator)

  • the time and resources likely to be needed.

Family members and carers should be included in the process, if this has been agreed with the person who is having their needs assessed.

[NICE's guideline on managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community, recommendations 1.2.4 and 1.2.5]

Equality and diversity considerations

If a person has a learning disability, cognitive decline or fluctuating mental capacity, services providing medicines support should make reasonable adjustments to ensure that the person and their family members or carers are actively involved in discussions and decision‑making. The person's views and preferences should be recorded to help make decisions in the person's best interest if they lack capacity to make decisions now or in the future.