Care workers have an important role to play in attending to the needs of residents living in care homes across the UK. This article concentrates on the training that care workers who will be responsible for dispensing medications are required to undergo in order to ensure the safety of the patient, and protect the care worker and their employer from possible prosecution should mistakes occur.

Advantages of receiving training in a care home.

If a care worker wishes to progress in their career, it is essential that they receive training on how to administer medication. Those who are hoping to secure jobs with care agencies, or in care homes registered with the CQC (Care Quality Commission), must have received adequate training before being allowed to administer medication to patients, or work unsupervised.

CQC induction standards

The CQC has established what are known as Common Induction Standards (CIS) and states: “Care providers must show that they are complying with the relevant regulations covering staff competence and training.” The CQC advises service providers that a CIS training course relevant to the service being provided should be completed within 12 weeks of the care worker being recruited.

The course is not considered to have been completed successfully until an assessment identifying the specific areas of work to be undertaken by the care worker has been provided, and that they are competent to undertake work in these areas. In addition, lone working must not be allowed until the worker has been assessed and a manager has signed off that he or she is safe to work alone. Proof that the individual has completed the relevant CIS course permitting them to work unsupervised whilst employed elsewhere should be provided in the form of certificates, references or a skills audit. It is also advisable that an induction procedure is followed to ensure the individual is familiarised with their new employer’s systems and work environment.

Medication training for care homes.

Individuals who intend to apply for positions such as senior care practitioner or manager, and whose responsibilities will include administering medications to patients, must have completed the relevant training. Qualifying courses include the following QCF units:

Course title:

ASM 34               Administer medication to individuals and monitor the effects (Level 3).

DEM 305             Understand the administration of medication to individuals with dementia using a person centered approach (Level 3).

HSC 3047            Support the use of medication in social care settings (Level 3).

CIS Standard 8     Health and safety in an adult social care setting.

Given the nature of the medical training that is required, most care providers employ the services of companies that specialise in providing these courses. There are literally hundreds of training companies to be found by carrying out a search on the internet. A degree of caution is required, however, as some are more reputable than others.

Randstad Care, for example, is committed to supporting and developing carers by offering a comprehensive range of Health and Social Care Training Courses. All the trainers are professionally qualified and are committed to ensuring that best practice procedures are strictly adhered to.