Patients Association publishes charter for care settings

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Patients Association publishes charter for care settings

The Patients Association has published its ‘Care Home Charter for Swallowing and Medicines’, which identifies key pledges that both patients and health and care professionals should abide by in care settings in instances where patients have dysphagia (swallowing difficulties).

It sets out standards of care that patients should expect, including being actively involved in decisions about their medicines, having their medicines administered in a form and route appropriate for their needs and abilities, and having their needs assessed regularly.

Pledges for health and care professionals include “I must have the requisite knowledge and skills to promote the resident’s human rights/ I will only administer medicines in line with national covert medication policy and the guidance of the Court of Protection.

The Charter was set up following the publication of research and a report on dysphagia by the Patients Association. Looking at 30 care homes, the report found that on a daily basis, staff are crushing tablets and mixing them with food to make medication easier to swallow. Staff had little awareness that altering medication in this way increases the likelihood of side effects, may reduce the effectiveness of the drug and can compromise residents’ safety.

The Association is currently considering the next steps for the charter, including implementation and training.

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