A self-medication assessment tool is used for assessing a service users’ ability to self-medicate if they so wish.
Why is a self-medication assessment tool necessary?
It supports people who wish to and are capable of self-administrating their medicines to do so safely. It ensures that all students who wish to self-administer are assessed for suitability using this risk assessment tool.
Points of consideration when assessing a service user
Self-medication is an important step towards independence and should be encouraged; provided student’s capabilities, including mental capacity, has been assessed and found to be adequate and robust. Students will only be able to self-medicate if their parents have completed and signed the school’s “Self-medication consent form”. Students will not be permitted to continue to self-medicate if they display poor compliance; unstable medical or mental condition; or the student wishes to discontinue.
- Care providers should assess any risk to the person who looks after his/her own medicines and the potential risk to other people in SCL.
- Care workers should identify whether people who are confused or lack cognitive awareness can safely keep and take their own medicines.
- For those service users who, following assessment are deemed suitable for self-medication need to be provided with secure storage for keeping their medication in their own rooms.
- Prescribed medicines belong to the person they were supplied for, identified by the name on the label. SCL does not own them, even though staff may request and take receipt of medicines.
- There are reasons why some people do not choose to keep their own medicines, preferring instead to allow the care staff to take the responsibility for them. The student’s choices should always be documented.
- There will be situations where students are keen to look after some medicines and not others. An example is when a resident keeps an inhaler for immediate use but prefers the SCL team to look after tablets and liquid medicines.
Recording of assessment
All assessments must be formally recorded in the students care plan and if ever the student is unable to administer their own medicines i.e. through sudden illness, the SCL team must document this. The assessments should be reviewed regularly with any change in circumstances clearly recorded.