Accurately listing and reviewing medicines

Accurately listing medicines

When a person moves into a care home or returns to a care home after a stay in hospital, an accurate list of their medicines should be made as soon as possible. The person and/or their family members or carers should be involved in this, as well as a pharmacist and any other people working in health or social care (practitioners) who have been involved in managing the person's medicines. The name and job title of the person making the list as well as the date should be recorded.

The following information should be available on the day a person moves into a care home (or back into a care home):

  • the medicines they are taking, including the name and strength, the form (for example, a tablet or liquid), the amount (or dose), how often and how it is taken (for example, by mouth or by an injection)

  • recent changes to medicines and the reason for the change, including changes to the amount, or changes to how often the medicine is taken

  • the date and time that any 'when required' medicines or medicines that aren't given every day (for example, weekly or monthly medicines) were last given

  • information about any allergies or reactions the person has had to medicines or their ingredients in the past

  • whether any medicines need to be monitored and when they should be reviewed

  • any support needed to help the person continue to take their medicines

  • any information that has been given to the person and their family members or carers.

The person's full name, date of birth, NHS number, address, and weight (if under 16 years or frail), and details of their GP and other relevant contacts (for example, consultants, a local pharmacist or specialist nurse) should also be available.

Reviewing medicines

People who live in care homes should have their medicines reviewed to see whether:

  • all the medicines are still needed

  • the amount of the medicine they are taking needs to be changed, or

  • they should be offered a new medicine.

This is known as a medication review. A person's GP should make sure this happens. How often the review takes place will depend on the person's health, but everyone who lives in a care home should have a medication review at least once a year.

Everyone who lives in a care home should have a named health professional who is responsible for reviewing their medicines. The named health professional should be identified by the GP. The health professional should know the person and know about their health, and should be able to gather the information needed for the review. The person living in the care home and/or their family members or carers and a local team (which may include a GP, pharmacist, nurse, a member of the care home staff and a social care practitioner) should also be involved in reviewing medicines.

During the medication review, the following should be discussed:

  • the reasons for the review

  • the person's understanding of the medicines, any concerns they have, and any more information or support they need to take their medicines as prescribed

  • family members' or carers' understanding of the medicines and any concerns they have (but only if the person agrees that family members and carers should be involved)

  • all medicines (both prescribed and over-the-counter) that the person is taking, what they are for, how safe they are, how well they are working, and whether they are still needed

  • any problems the person is having taking the medicine, including difficulty swallowing tablets or using inhalers properly, and any side effects

  • any tests needed for monitoring the medicines.