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PHARM31.2016 Confirm the suitability of an individual's medicines for use and ensure sufficient supply


This standard covers confirming the suitability of an individual's medicines for use. This involves checking that the medicines match what is currently prescribed for the individual. It also includes ensuring the individual has sufficient supply of medicines, the identification of any discrepancies and dealing with any problems appropriately. The standard can be applied in a variety of settings. Your practice will be consistent with your occupational role and carried out under the regulatory, professional and ethical frameworks established in the context of current legislation. You will need to take a reflective approach to your work. You will work at all times within Standard Operating Procedures that relate to the way in which a pharmacy service is provided in your place of work. A caring and compassionate approach should be adopted in line with current healthcare guidance. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 2

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. the Standard Operating Procedures and the importance of adhering to them at all times
  2. the importance of working within the limits of your competence and authority, when to seek agreement or permission from others and when to refer on to an appropriate person
  3. current health and safety legislation and how it applies to the working environment
  4. legal, organisational and policy requirements relevant to your role, the role of others in your organisation and the activities being carried out
  5. the relevant national and local guidelines, policies and procedures that are available and how and when they should be accessed
  6. the importance of adhering to information governance policies and maintaining confidentiality when sharing information about individuals with others
  7. the duty to report any acts or omissions that could be detrimental to individuals, yourself, colleagues or your employer
  8. methods of enabling effective communication and supporting individuals to communicate their needs, views and preferences
  9. the importance of involving individuals in discussion and how this can be achieved
  10. the purpose of confirming the suitability of an individual's own medicines against Standard Operating Procedures
  11. the appropriate documentation required for recording information following assessment of medicines
  12. the prescribing conventions, abbreviations and medical terminology
  13. the different formulations of medicines
  14. the factors which affect the security and storage of medication including expiry dates
  15. factors that may affect how medicines are taken
  16. the psychological, occupational and social aspects and implications for individuals living with conditions
  17. the labelling requirements for medicines
  18. legislation surrounding medicines not licensed in the UK within your scope of practice
  19. the use of compliance aids
  20. the regulations related to the destruction of medicines
  21. legislation and organisational processes relating to obtaining valid consent
  22. the actions to take if valid consent is not obtained
  23. the importance of recording, storing and retrieving information in accordance with organisational procedures

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. work within the relevant Standard Operating Procedures including the relevant health and safety procedures and within your own limits of competence
  2. communicate with the individual and key people at a pace, in a manner and at a level appropriate to the individual's understanding, preferences and needs
  3. obtain valid consent from the individual or their carer for use, removal or destruction of the individual's own medicines if they are not appropriate for use
  4. explain the purpose of checking the individual's own medicines and answer any questions related to the process
  5. obtain appropriate information about the individual's medicines
  6. assess the individual's own medicines to ensure they are fit for purpose, have an adequate supply and complete appropriate documentation as appropriate
  7. refer any unidentifiable medicines or products to an appropriate person
  8. identify any discrepancies between the individual's own medicines and prescribed items
  9. record and report any discrepancies and other issues identified to an appropriate person
  10. identify the individual's unlabelled medicines that are appropriate for use and label according to Standard Operating Procedures
  11. arrange for medicines to be re-labelled where appropriate
  12. arrange for medicines not appropriate for use to be removed and/ or destroyed and recorded in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
  13. arrange for any new medicines required to be issued in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
  14. complete all relevant documentation and store appropriately in accordance with legal and organisational requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB6 Assessment and treatment planning
PHARM31.2016 Confirm the suitability of an individual's medicines for use and ensure sufficient supply
Final version approved February 2016 © copyright Skills For Health,
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