Non-prescribed medication can include oral medication and topical medication. As topical medication can include creams and ointments it may also be necessary to refer to Kirklees Good Practice Medication Guidelines for creams, bath preparations and ointments

In some cases, GP's have stopped prescribing medication if the items can be purchased more cheaply 'over the counter.'

'Over the counter' medications can include:

  • Pain relief such as Paracetamol
  • Flu and cold remedies
  • Laxatives
  • Barrier creams such as Drapoline, Sudacrem
  • Moisturising creams such as Vaseline, E45
  • Nutritional supplements such as protein/energy drinks and vitamin and mineral tablets
  • Herbal medications (sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh herbs/plants)

Providers must not offer advice about non-prescribed medication to service users.

Providers must not routinely purchase or collect GP prescriptions, non-prescription (Over the Counter) medication, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies on behalf of a service user. These tasks will rarely be included as part of a service users schedule (SUS). Therefore, the provider will not be paid for carrying out these tasks without prior agreement with the Council. See collecting prescriptions for further guidance.

Providers must not routinely support service users with medications that are not prescribed by a GP or consultant.

If a service user wishes to take non-prescribed 'over the counter' medication, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies, they must take responsibility for this themselves. Alternatively, they could seek support from a family member or representative. If the service user is unable to do this and has no appropriate family member or representative, under exceptional circumstances, the assessor may include this support as part of the support plan needs.

An example of an exceptional circumstance may be if the service user does have capacity to make their own decisions, but they are physically unable to support themselves and there is no family/carer or representatives to support them, the following must take place and be recorded as evidence:

  • The service user has consulted the GP and/or Pharmacist to ensure the safety of the medication for themselves. For example, ensuring that it does not interfere or cause problems with any prescribed medication. Any such consultations need to be documented on the service users support plan.
  • Any risks or potential risks must be identified and recorded and included in risk assessments.
  • Providers must ensure all medications they support with are recorded on the service users Medication Administration Record (MAR) in the same way as any prescribed medication and the MAR is regularly audited by the provider.

Further guidance

Over the counter medicines and homely remedies | Care Quality Commission (

Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community | Guidance | NICE

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