This statement provides broad policy guidance and procedures for individuals responsible for receiving, administering and assisting with medication related matters.
Hireup acknowledges that each person seeking support with Hireup has the right to be actively supported to manage their own medication independently and to provide or withhold consent to its use.
If the person seeking support does not have the capacity to consent to receiving medication their nominated account manager must provide or withhold consent on the person's behalf.
Roles and Responsibilities
Individuals with Disability (managing their own Hireup accounts) should:
- Work in partnership with those who support them and health professionals to develop skills and confidence to manage medications appropriately
- Ensure that details relating to any medication requirements are documented in their Hireup support plan
- Ensure a Medication Authority Form (MAF) has been completed by the treating health professional for all medication that requires the assistance of a Disability Support Workers (DSW)
- Ensure that appropriate training and information (including a MAF) is provided to DSW involved in the administration of medication
- Not ask those who are providing them with medication support to act outside of their scope of responsibility or this statement.
- Ensure that medication to be given by a DSW is in a blister pack for safe administration
- Provide medication in a blister pack, with recipient's name, medication names, times to give, instructions for giving (ie with food, without food, separately)
Account Managers should:
- Make decisions in the best interests of the person with disability in relation to consent to medical treatment
- Ensure a MAF has been completed by the treating health professional for all medication that requires the assistance of a DSW
- Work closely with Hireup, DSWs, individuals and health professionals to ensure medications are used appropriately, for their intended purpose and seek help to solve problems when they arise
- Ensure that appropriate training is provided to DSWs involved in the administration of medication
- Maintain relevant knowledge of the risks and benefits of medications, the possibility of non-drug options and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Disability Support Workers should:
- Ensure that prior to administering medication all appropriate training has been completed
- Ensure that all medication that requires assistance has been approved by the treating health professional and is documented in the MAF
- Ensure that adequate detail relating to medication requirements are documented in the support plan and that this has been read
- Comply with Hireup policies and procedures in relation to medication administration and assistance
- Follow directions provided by the treating health professional and on the packaging or label provided by the pharmacist
- Understand any personal limitations or gaps in skills and training and inform Hireup if there are any concerns around competence or understanding in performing tasks required of them in the administration of medication.
Prescription medications are only available by prescription from a healthcare professional with prescribing rights. This usually refers to a medical practitioner (doctor) but might include a nurse practitioner, dentist or optometrist.
Examples of non-prescription medications include cough mixtures, simple analgesics and antacids. Some non-prescription medications can be sold only by pharmacists (pharmacist only) or in a pharmacy (pharmacy only), others can be sold through non-pharmacy outlets such as supermarkets. Non-prescriptions medications are also known as ‘over-the-counter’ medications.
Pro re nata (PRN) Medication
Pro re nata (PRN) or 'as needed' – medication is prescribed by a health professional for an individual as and when needed for treatment of a medical condition. PRN medication may include prescription or non-prescription medication. DSWs are not permitted to administer PRN S8 medication other than dexamphetamine and methylphenidate.
Hireup supports those people who wish to administer their own medicines as part of maintaining their independence.
Administration by Hireup Employees
Clients managing their own account who require assistance with the administration of medication should ensure that support workers are appropriately trained to administer medicines, and that administration practices are monitored for safety and quality.
To ensure safe practices relating to medication administration by Hireup staff the following must be adhered to:
- Medication is administered strictly according to the prescribing health professional’s instructions
- Approval is gained from a health professional for all over-the-counter medications to ensure that they are appropriate for the individual and that they do not interact negatively with other medications
- Medication is only ever administered if it is labeled with the following (or accompanied by Medication authority form); when appropriate to take the medication (indications for use), route, dosing frequency, desired effects / side effects, dosage (including maximum dose in 24 hours), number of days the medication can be used
- Medication is only ever administered in a way which is consistent with the level of training and competence for that DSW - must be in a blister pack
- Always check the expiry date, and do not administer if expired.
Schedule 8 medications (S8)
Schedule 8 drugs or drugs of dependence are prescription medicines that have a recognised therapeutic need but also a higher risk of misuse, abuse and dependence.
A register must be kept that records all Schedule 8 (S8) medications. The register must meet the following standards:
- The registers used are to be bound with serially numbered pages, corrections must be crossed out and initialed - white out and pencil are not to be used
- A separate page is allocated to each particular form of medication for each individual
- All medications received for individuals must be recorded at the time of receipt and all medications administered must be recorded at the time of administration. This is a separate activity to the Medication Administration Record. The register entries must be signed by the person placing the medication into the enclosure or removing the medication from the enclosure for the individual to take their dose. Where possible, two people should be involved in the recording of S8 medications
- The balance of S8 medications held at any particular time must be the same as the balance that is recorded in the register. If there is a discrepancy this should be discussed with a supervisor as soon as practicable. A register balance must be checked at the handover of shifts and signed by the persons involved in the handover.
Legislations and Standards
This statement is managed in line with the National Standards for Disability Services and relevant Commonwealth and State Legislation including:
- Disability Services Act (2011)
- Disability Services Regulations (2015)
- Poisons Act (1971)
- Poisons Regulations (2008)
- Personal Information Protection Act (2004).