In 2016 Public Health England issued guidance that population groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (such as people who are confined indoors, including those in care homes) should take a daily 10 micrograms/400 units vitamin D supplement throughout the year.

In early 2021, in response to the global pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care made the decision to provide a free 4 month supply of vitamin D to all care home residents.

At the same time, the Care Quality Commission made it clear that care homes “should consider how to support people to continue to take vitamin D when the free supplies end.” because “Care home providers are required to meet resident’s full nutritional needs to sustain life and good health, and reduce the risks of malnutrition, in line with regulation 14 (Part A) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. In addition to provision of nutritious meals, this includes food supplements where necessary, such as vitamin D.

GPs should not prescribe 10 microgram (400 IU) doses of Vitamin D now the free supply has ended care homes are responsible for providing this to residents. 

Whilst most people get the Vitamin D they need from sunlight, many are serious risk of having a deficiency. Vitamin D is incredibly important for bone health.

Useful Resources

CQC – Vitamin D Supplements supporting people who receive adult social careClick here
NHS –  Vitamin D Easy ReadClick here
Herts and West Essex ICB – information on Vitamin DClick here
GOV.UK – Vitamin D and care home guidance Click here