Archive 2010

Regulator Issues Guidance on Pharmacy Care of Nursing Home Patients

July 13, 2010

The PSI (Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland), the pharmacy regulator, has issued a practice notice to pharmacists reminding them of their responsibilities to patients who are living in nursing homes and other residential care settings.

The PSI Head of Communications, Kate O’Flaherty said the provision of pharmacy services to these patients must be at the same level of care as that received by patients who attend personally at the pharmacy practice.

“Pharmacists, and in particular superintendent and supervising pharmacists, have key roles and responsibilities in ensuring that patients living in nursing homes or other residential facilities are provided with safe and quality care.  Pharmacists also have a key role in protecting vulnerable patients and in ensuring that the rights of each patient are being respected, including their dignity, autonomy and entitlements. The legal and professional requirements relating to the sale and supply of medicinal products apply in all circumstances, irrespective of whether the patient is living in his/her own home or in a residential care setting.”

Ms O’Flaherty added that a structured set of policies and procedures must be in place to govern the effective management of all services offered and provided to patients living in residential care settings. “A partnership model should be established with the management and staff of the residential unit to ensure that procedures are comprehensive, appropriate and robust. It is vital that pharmacists work within multidisciplinary teams in line with HIQA standards to meet the needs of vulnerable patients with complex medication needs to ensure quality of care.”

The Notice highlights in particular the requirements around:

  • The legal basis of supply of prescription-only medicines
  • Review of prescribed medicine therapy
  • Patient counselling, including the necessity of the pharmacist to personally attend on patients in order to fully carry out these and other obligations
  • Safe delivery of medicines
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Medication monitoring and review, in conjunction with the other health professionals involved in the care of these patients


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