Homely Remedies/Domestic (Self-Care) Medication Policy

Homely Remedy Medication

Derbyshire House understands a domestic medicine refers to a medicine that can be bought over the counter (non-prescription) to treat minor symptoms for short periods only (e.g., indigestion, coughs, mild to moderate pain and constipation). Homely remedies are only administered in accordance with the Manufacturer’s directions, and the homely remedies stocked by the home are agreed by us, the G.P & Clinical Pharmacist and Community Pharmacist and take into consideration cultures that are appropriate to the resident as long as it is safe to do so. Derbyshire House keeps a supply of domestic medication, such as:

  • Dispersible Aspirin 300mg tablets – 1 to 3 tablets can be dispersed in water every 3 to 4 hours (do not exceed more than 4 doses in 24 hours) – this is to be given for specific medical conditions relating to the heart. this medication should only be given on specific instruction from a G.P or the emergency services
  • Macrogol/Cosmocol sachets – 1 sachet can be given up to twice a day (do not exceed 2 sachets in any 24-hour period) to alleviate the symptoms of constipation. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, a doctor should be consulted
  • Paracetamol 500mg tablets – 1 or 2 tablets can be taken up to 4 times a day (do not exceed 8 tablets in any 24-hour period) to alleviate symptoms of pain and high temperature. If the resident is below 50kg a maximum of 1 tablet can be taken up to 4 times a day. Please do NOT take with any other medicine containing paracetamol. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours a doctor should be consulted
  • Rennie Peppermint Flavoured and/or Sugar Free tablets – 1 or 2 tablets can be taken at any one time (do not exceed 10 tablets in any 24-hour period) to alleviate symptoms of indigestion/heartburn. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours a doctor should be consulted

These remedies are for use as required on a short-term basis. Before any homely remedies are given to a resident the residents care plan is checked to see if the pharmacist or G.P has noted any contraindications to the medicines held.

The maximum duration of treatment will not exceed 48 hours without the home obtaining medical advice. If the symptoms persist, or give us cause for concern, medical advice will be obtained in case they are masking other more serious underlying conditions. Consent will be obtained from the individual before administering homely remedies and documented as so. If a resident self-administers a homely remedy a risk assessment must be completed to ensure they are safe to do so and no more than 48 hrs supply should be given.

Any medications administered from the homely remedies list will be recorded on the appropriate MAR sheet and within the individuals Care Plan, recording the name, form and strength of medicine, date medicine received, opening stock balance, date and time of medication administration, reason the medication is being given, signature of the person administrating the medicine, monthly stock check, expiry date (it is important to remember that some medicines have a shorter shelf life once opened), medicines disposed of /returned to pharmacy (including date and quantity). A separate MAR sheet is kept for each homely remedy kept. Recording this in two places has the positive effect of double recording and complies with health & safety.

Supplementary Medicines

On occasion supplementary medicines i.e., vitamins, which are not available to be prescribed on the NHS but can be purchased from health food shops may be requested to be used by residents or their family members if this is the case it is important to follow the process below: –

  • Any supplementary medicine purchased by a resident or family member should be checked to ensure they are in date and that they are in a sealed container. This is so that staff can be confident that what it says on the label is what is inside the bottle
  • Ask the resident or family members where the supplements were purchased, if they were purchased from the internet (any medication purchased from the internet could potentially be dangerous as they may be out of date, diluted with other ingredients or fake, if purchased from the internet every single page of the company’s website should display the distance selling logo from the MHRA) please check the MHRA website at gov.uk/mhra
  • Inform the resident’s GP that they wish to take supplements so that they are aware. Supplementary medication must NOT be given until the GP has confirmed that they are happy for it to be given
  • Ask the resident’s community pharmacist to check if the supplements will react with any of the resident’s current medication
  • The medication will need to be handwritten onto the MAR chart every month by staff and countersigned
  • If we are unsure of the quality of the medication that has been bought, we will not administer it to the resident

Self-Care Medication

Self-care medication are medicinal preparations used to treat minor ailments that are self-limiting and should improve on their own. They can be bought over the counter and do not require a prescription. A Health Care Professional (HPC) may advise the home, staff, resident or family members (on behalf of the resident) to purchase a specific product to treat a minor ailment i.e., olive oil for ear wax or miswak for brushing teeth). The HPC should indicate how long the treatment is to continue and provide any necessary further advice to support use i.e., directions. Residents or family members may purchase or bring in their own “self-treatment products”. Medicines that are not listed on the list of homely remedies need to be discussed with the HPC as to their suitability and whether there are any interactions with their prescribed medications.

In both these circumstances it is important that: –

  • The medicines are not for general use in the home and must remain specific to that resident
  • The medicine is labelled with the resident’s name
  • The medicines are counted into the home and recorded as for other medication, by adding to the MAR chart to ensure regular dosing and stock control
  • The instructions should be written in the resident’s care plan by care staff
  • If symptoms worsen, seniors should seek advice from an HPC
  • The product is checked as suitable for use, in date and follows manufacturers storage requirements
  • The resident should be risk assessed if they wish to administer themselves to ensure they are safe to do so

All domestic medicines are stored in a lockable cupboard within the medication or residents’ rooms and administered by a member of staff with the authority to administer them who is on duty in accordance with advice given on medicine sheets or by the resident themselves if they are risk assessed as safe to do so. The Manager and her staff will also note if a GP has excluded any individual from receiving any domestic medicine. Homely remedies will only be administered in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

This policy and procedure should be reviewed periodically in consultation with the GP practice.


Signed by G.P.