The Patients Association Report
Survey of medicines related care of residents with dysphagia in care homes.
The Patients Association report, titled Survey of medicines related care of residents with dysphagia in care homes has found that as many as 50% of residents are affected by swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), which can make tablets difficult or even impossible to swallow. Despite the number of people affected by swallowing problems in care homes, only 10% of the homes surveyed had a specific protocol to guide staff in administering medication to people with dysphagia and only 20% had arranged training in this important area.
The report is based on a recent survey of 30 care homes which found that on a daily basis, staff are crushing tablets and mixing them with food to make medication easier to swallow. Altering medication (not designed to be crushed) increases the likelihood of side effects, may reduce the effectiveness of the drug and subsequently compromises residents’ safety. Yet staff had limited awareness of the impact of tampering with medication in this way. This report also includes 21 recommendations directed at care homes, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Care Quality Commission to support improved care practice.
This report has led us to develop a new training programme titled Supporting People with Dysphagia with Medication which will give much more focus to supporting people with medication who have dysphagia. This half-day session can be booked as a half day or it can be delivered as a full day alongside our current dysphagia course.
Training courses we deliver relating to care and support for individuals with Dysphagia include:
- Safe Handling of Medication
- Fluids and Nutrition
- Health and Safety
- Risk Assessment Awareness