A quarter of care workers administering medicine untrained, survey finds

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11th May 2015 16:00 - Pharmaceutical

A recent survey by UNISON has discovered that many care workers are expected to carry out procedures which should only be done by aA quarter of care workers administering medicine untrained, survey finds registered nurse, such as administering drugs.

Of the respondents nearly a quarter said that they were expected to administer drugs without any training, putting patients at risk of a fatal overdose. Some of the care workers surveyed said that they were asked to administer drugs such as morphine and insulin.

The survey of more than 1,000 care workers, employed by both councils and private firms, also found that homecare workers are being asked to perform tasks, such as changing catheter bags, peg feeding and stoma care, without being trained how to do so. Consequently, some care users are being left in discomfort and at a higher risk of infection.

Of the respondents, 59 per cent said that they had not been given training in how to attach or change a convene catheter and 52 per cent had not been trained in how to perform stoma care.

As well as this, 45 per cent had not been given any guidance in how to change a catheter bag and 38 per cent had not been trained in how to perform peg feeding.

78 per cent of the respondents said that they had requested more training in how to perform aspects of their ever-increasing roles. However, fewer than half received any guidance.

The survey found that the problem was heightened by the fact that many councils are restricting care visits to 15 minute slots. This means that care workers have to perform complicated procedures in a rush.

Many of the respondents said that they felt unable to connect and build relationships with their patients as they are constantly being allocated new care users.

A large proportion of care workers are paid below the minimum wage, as they are expected to pay for their own petrol, mobile phones and uniform, as well as not being paid for the time spent travelling between care users.

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