If staff notices upon the start of their shift that not all medication from the previous shift has been given, what should they do? | QCS

I have a question. If I start shift in care home at 9am, and notice that the 8am medication has not been signed for what should I do?


Sheila Scott
Answered by Sheila Scott

Many thanks for your question. In the first instance I would try and get hold of the staff member that would have completed the 8am medication.  They should return to the home and review the medications that have not been signed for. If you are unable to get hold of the member of staff, consider asking some service users that would be able to advise you if they have taken their medication. Do not give any medication at this point, just investigate where possible.  This could include checking stock levels and blister packs to see if medication tallies with it being given that morning.   Once you have completed an initial scope with service users, and looking at medication, raise the issue with your line manager for further action and guidance based on your findings.  The manager will need to determine the significance of the incident and where it applies report this to safeguarding and/or CQC if it applies (e.g. if a service user has suffered ill health by not having their medication at 8am).      If it transpires the medication was not given at 8am, this would now need to be given late and therefore the rest of the days medication administration will have to reflect the delay (e.g paracetamol tablets will still need a 4 hour gap from the last administration round).  Risk assess the medications missed and ensure the GP is informed.   It also goes without saying that an apology to the service user is necessary for the lateness in administration.  Finally,  complete an incident form, detailing the incident so that the opportunity can be given for reflection and review of processes to reduce the risk of this incident happening again. I would also add that this is a disciplinary matter and should be managed as part of your safeguarding procedures.

About Sheila Scott

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector. 3. Read more

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