Following several recent medication errors, the ICB care home pharmacy team would like to ask care home managers and clinical leads to remind their staff about the importance of accurate ‘medicines reconciliation’ when residents come into a care home.

Key points below:

  • All care homes should have a medication policy that includes how to undertake medicines reconciliation, which is the process of accurately listing a resident’s medicines. Medicines reconciliation should take place when a person is discharged from hospital or transferred from another setting or place of residence (including home), when treatment has changed and ideally before the first dose of a medication is administered.
  • Medicines reconciliation must be undertaken by appropriately trained staff, who are competent to carry this out, including the double check.
  • The most up to date reliable source should be used and wherever possible cross checked against an alternative source. Any discrepancies must be recorded, and reason(s) established. If the information on a hospital discharge summary/ medication labels/ prescription request paperwork does not match, contact the hospital or community pharmacy to seek clarification.
  • Do not use any medication that is not labelled, including when there are no directions on how to take the medicine on the dispensing label- please contact the pharmacy for advice.
  • Minimise distractions when carrying out medicine’s reconciliation.

Click here for a good practice guide on medicines reconciliation which covers how to manage the process.

For any further advice please contact the team via