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NICE round up: Improving the management of medicines can provide better quality of life

Communication between healthcare professionals and care home staff has been highlighted by NICE as an area in need of improvement, especially with there being more than 350,000 people in a care home setting in England and Wales.

NICE used a 2011 study to show that mistakes in the chain of administering medications are not uncommon, with nine-in-10 care home residents experiencing exposure to a minimum of one potential medication administration errors during a three month period.

Older people are also identified to be prone to falls, and this can be more prevalent when taking mediations. Falls have a 'detrimental effect' on a patient's quality of life and can make them very vulnerable. As well as having an effect on their health and wellbeing and also their families. Therefore management of medicines in care homes need to be accessed with strong communication being used between care staff and health care professionals. Especially with
around 2.5 million expected to have at least one fall per year and the risk of a fall being 50% in those aged 80 and above.

The standard produced by NICE indicated urgent improvement to prevent these errors. All health care professionals included in the administration chain need to work together and be aware of the complications of miscommunication to ensure that patients receive the right medication at the right time.

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