Storage of medication
Staff should ensure that medication is:
- Stored in the correct environment. This is normally in a cool, dry place. If other storage conditions apply, this will be stated on the label of the container or in the patient-information leaflet that accompanies the medication. For example, some medications need to be stored in a fridge.
- Stored in a safe place, which is known and accessible to the service user, carer and/or representatives, reflecting the service user's environment and needs. If for any reason it is considered unsafe to have medications accessible to the service user, then it may be necessary to carry out a best interest assessment and refer to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for further guidance.
- Stored out of the reach and sight of children and others to whom they may pose a risk.
- Stored and kept in the packaging in which the medication was obtained from the pharmacy.
Disposal of medication
Providers must not routinely dispose of a service users' medication. 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 of an Authorised Officer of the Council.
If the service user is unable to dispose of their own unused/out of date medication, they will need to ensure this is done by a family member or representative. If this is not possible the provider should inform the service users' pharmacist so the pharmacist can decide upon the safest and most appropriate course of action.
Medication must not be disposed of in household waste bins, or down sewage systems via sinks or toilets.
The pharmacist advice must be sought and followed in terms of the robust recording process necessary to ensure the safety factors of any staff/provider returning medication to the pharmacist.
Further guidance, advice and support can be found in the Kirklees Good Practice Medication Guidance for Controlled drugs.