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Assessment of medication-related needs checklist for SAP coordinators

The following checklist questions will help SAP coordinators to assess whether medication-related needs are being met. This checklist is also available to download in word and pdf format at the bottom of this page.
Involvement of pharmacists in the SAP
  • Are primary and secondary care pharmacists involved in the care of elderly people fully included in the process?
  • Are pharmacists carrying out Level 3 assessments to assess patients' medication-related needs?
  • Are social services and voluntary organisations fully engaged in the SAP and making sufficient referrals to pharmacists to carry out Level 3 assessments?
Identification of medication related issues in Level 2 assessments
  • Do the Level 2 assessments include questions about medicines related issues (e.g. the "four trigger medication questions")?
  • Are professionals carrying out Level 2 assessments aware of pharmacists' roles in conducting specialist assessments and referral procedures?
  • Have Level 2 assessors received adequate training so that they:
    • Understand the principles behind the medication questions?
    • Are able to use them to make referrals to the assessing pharmacists?
    • Understand the basic legal and ethical issues around drug supply and administration?
    • Are aware of the role of pharmacists, other health and social care professionals and formal and informal carers in medicines management?
  • Are the Level 2 assessors able to adapt the way they ask the medication questions to suit the individual they are assessing?
  • Are Level 2 assessors using prompts when asking the medication questions to maximise their ability to identify user's problems?
  • Have you ensured that different types of professionals carrying out the Level 2 assessments are identifying a wide range of medication-related issues and are not just focussing on problems in particular areas (e.g. compliance)?
  • If you have concerns about the ability of your Level 2 assessments to identify medication related problems, have you compared their results with those of the Level 3 assessments for the same individuals?
Involvement of users and carers
  • Are older people encouraged to participate fully in their assessment?
  • Are Level 2 and 3 assessors fully exploring patients' concerns, preferences and experiences of their medicine-taking?
  • Are assessors ensuring that individuals feel able to be honest about their beliefs, concerns and experiences about medicine-taking and dealing with any issues raised in a tactful and empathetic manner?
  • Are assessments paying as much attention to patients' views of their medicines as to their practical problems?
  • In Level 3 assessments, are pharmacists working together with patients to come to an agreement about how their medicines should be taken?
  • When appropriate, are carers involved in the assessment and decision-making processes and given information about any decisions made?
Level 3 pharmacist assessments
  • Are pharmacists assessing patients' medication needs using a standardised and valid measure (e.g. the In-depth Medication Assessment Tool)?
  • Are pharmacists identifying, and finding appropriate solutions to, all of the potential needs older people may have?
  • Are Level 3 pharmacists' assessments being used to identify patients who need a full medication review?
  • Do Level 3 assessments assess patients' dependence on their carers for help with medicines management and whether or not there is a backup if the carer becomes unavailable?
Care plans
  • Are pharmacists writing care plans with detailed information about:
    • The user's needs?
    • The actions being taken to address these needs?
    • The intended objectives of these services?
    • Who is responsible for these services?
    • How the care plan will be monitored?
    • When it will be reviewed?
  • Are the recommendations being made about actions to be taken both clear and specific?
  • Do the care plans pharmacists develop adequately address patients' needs?
  • Are pharmacists aware of the availability of, and how to make referrals to, local clinical and non-clinical services which may help address patients' needs (e.g. dieticians or Meals-on-Wheels)?
  • When patients have needs that require complex pharmaceutical care plans, are the assessing and community pharmacists working together to develop an appropriate care package?
  • Are copies of the care plan being given to the user, and to their carers and other health and social care professionals if appropriate?
  • After carrying out Level 3 assessments, do pharmacists send letters to the patients' GPs, highlighting the needs identified and any recommendations made?
  • Is the efficacy of care plans being regularly and appropriately reviewed?

Related Documents
The checklist questions in this document will help SAP coordinators to assess whether medication-related needs are being met.