National guidance was published on 23rd April 2020, providing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the potential reuse of medicines (including CDs) within care homes and hospices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The attached NECS MO Briefing provided the following advice on implementation:
- Following the decision to prescribe, dispensed medicines should ONLY be reused in line with the guidance where ALL usual supply routes and suitable alternatives have been considered and are either unavailable or unsuitable.
- Care homes and hospices will be required to ensure the governance and implementation of this process within the service. Further practical guidance will be published for local care homes and hospices to help them implement the SOP.
- Before any medicine can be reused there must be:
- A risk assessment of the medicine to ensure it is safe to re-use
- Evidence of consent from the patient for re-use of their medicines
- A new prescription for the person receiving the re-used medicines
- Other healthcare professionals including community pharmacists, healthcare professionals and prescribers need to understand the application of the SOP and their role in supporting the process.
- This guidance supersedes previous local guidance regarding the re-use of paracetamol in care homes. The process described in the SOP may now be applied to paracetamol also.
Additional resources to help apply the national guidance can be found here.