What we know:
- Vitamin D supplements will be supplied to care homes as a liquid supplement. Dosage per resident per day is 2 drops. 2 drops provides 10 micrograms or 400 international units (IU) vitamin D
How can care home staff prepare ahead of delivery?
- Allocate a member of the Care Home staff to lead on the roll out (with appropriate competencies)
- Read the guidance document and discuss any patient specific queries with your local PCN pharmacist or contact your local care home pharmacist to determine whether any of your residents should not take the vitamin D drops provided
- Residents who have capacity should be supported to choose whether they wish to receive Vitamin D drops. Staff should work with healthcare professionals to make a best interests decision for any residents who lack capacity to make this decision at this time
- Record all decisions made
- Ensure all relevant care home staff know about the decisions made for each resident
What should staff do once the Vitamin D supply has arrived?
- Update care plans/any other documents as per guidance
- Record administration of Vitamin D drops
Please note: The Vitamin D drops will be provided free of charge to care homes, for 4 months only, as part of the governments COVID-19 response. After this time the care home provider is responsible for providing residents with a daily Vitamin D supplement as part of Health and Social Care Act (2008) Regulations.
Other things to note:
- The free supply is being delivered directly from the government to Care Homes
- GP practices are not to prescribe Vitamin D supplements if the supply has not yet arrived. Care Homes can either choose to purchase a supply in the meantime or contact the Department of Health and Social Care directly
GPs should not be asked to prescribe 10 microgram (400 IU) doses of Vitamin D once the free supply has ended. GPs can continue to prescribe higher doses of Vitamin D where required to treat deficiency.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV)
On the 24th February 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care updated the Vitamin D and clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) guidance. CEV people are advised to read the guidance on how to take vitamin D supplements safely in full before they start taking the vitamin D supplements. The existing government advice is for everyone to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter months, so we would recommend that those who did not opt in should be doing this.