Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (934)

Catherine Martin


934. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the practice of nursing homes requiring separate new prescriptions for respite patients with associated extra dispensing costs and increased risk of medication error; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19598/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Information and Quality Authority is the independent authority established under the Health Act 2007 to drive continuous improvement and to monitor safety and quality in Ireland’s health and personal social care services. Since 2009 all nursing homes - public, voluntary and private have been registered and inspected by HIQA. This responsibility is underpinned by a comprehensive framework, including Care and Welfare Regulations and National Standards which set out what is expected in terms of the service provided to residents, with a focus on continuous development of safe and effective care

The Regulations provide that the person in charge shall ensure that all medicinal products are administered in accordance with the directions of the prescriber of the resident concerned and in accordance with any advice provided by that resident’s pharmacist regarding the appropriate use of the product. The National Standards provide that medicines management policies and procedures are in place that comply with legislative and professional regulatory requirements and best practice guidelines. They ensure that medication is never administered other than for medically identified reasons and as prescribed by a registered prescriber. HIQA has also prepared guidance on medicines management for nursing home providers and this is available on the HIQA website.

Finally, I wish to advise the Deputy that registered providers of nursing home care are obliged to provide an accessible and effective complaints procedure. Any concerns should in the first instance be taken up with the nursing home provider.