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, and care homes are now responsible for providing this to residents.
We would also advise those who support people in the community to offer guidance around supplementing Vitamin D.