Change in how medicine is given out

Hi all, I am stuck on what I can do to keep the weekly collection for lithium going instead of daily? This has changed without us being involved in any meetings with mental health about this change only about change of mental health social worker. It’s only going to cause problems than help us. I am not sure if these is due to pova or what but we are totally in the dark.

Daily collection sounds a nightmare, Michael. I find it bad enough chasing all S’s prescriptions every 56 days …

Are you able to contact the prescriber about this, to find out if there is a supply issue. I can’t imagine what the clinical reason would be unless they want to supervise the taking of the medication or there have been safeguarding concerns raised about administration.

It’s unlikely to be related to the safeguarding concern, unless there was a concern about overmedicating/overdosing. Lithium is pretty volatile stuff and people on the drug need regular blood tests. If they were concerned about that, I would have thought they’d be concerned that you might withhold and stockpile meds to do it, so they would take control away from you for that.

It may be that there’s a new protocol locally about distribution of lithium. But if I were you I’d raise the concern about daily collection increasing the risk of your not being able to collect it - e.g. through illness - and that causing problems of sudden withdrawal, which is clinically NOT recommended, from what I recall.

Thanks both, it is a nightmare collecting and then change it. The local chemist can’t collect it or delivery it as we asked before when there was transportation issues. In a month I have worked it out apart from loosing an hour everyday to do a daily trip, I would be driving 400 miles in total back and forth with nothing given towards cost of fuel. There’s no supply issues and the pharmacist we see every two weeks doesn’t know why it has happened as they weren’t in the meeting. I know lithium is dangerous stuff and when it goes wrong I have seen it. If they want to check how it is given out, then they should do a regular visit at night when it is given. None of the other tablets have or being checked. Just got to wait for an answer.

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Then that’s ridiculous, I hope you can sort this out.

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A carer has a right not to care. Time to get tough and go on strike, say you can’t afford the time or money. Whoever made this idiotic rule needs to sort out delivery! Formal complaint to Doctor and Pharmacist. Both will blame someone else, and in doing so you will find out who had this bright idea. Presumably without your support hospital or residential care would be the only option left? Also mention the pressure on you and the effect on your own mental health!

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There has been a bit of a update with the medicine. The 2 tablets that need to be given out daily will happen now via the chemist if the mental health doctor mum is under agrees. We are still not overall happy about it as they are still being to ridged over the meds as one of them they will only now give out 2 than before where we had spares to use if mum kicked off to help calam her down as it not always easy to get help when needing it.

This has all come from the two pova/safeguarding investigation that were raised but as usual we are still waiting on a full outcome. The mental health services are trying to work between the two report’s from safeguarding and the police to come up with a solution but it is half cocked.

Michael, having to collect them daily is right pain but from the chemist rather than the hospital is an improvement. I hope this is only temporary.

Was it your Mum making accusations that has caused this change with the meds? If so I think she should have to go out and collect them with you - however that would probably add to your stress.

I suppose looking at it from a different angle - you will at least be escaping for awhile - no need to go straight there and straight back.

Thanks melly. With collecting the meds the chemist will be delivering them unless there is a problem like no driver. It is going to be a month’s trial.

No mum did not make accusation about her medication for a change, that was down to the safeguarding, police and mental health team. That was after we raised the concern over the diazapam as we were giving extra as a PRN to help her during bad episodes and sometimes you can’t always get someone from the medical side to help out in a crisis. Which after a time it can work back on it self, so asked for help. Still early days as there got to be a clear plan than a to the moment where there is to many chief and not enough Indians.

Michael, good they will be delivering them.

They have decided to go back to weekly but I have to collect it from the mental health hospital. They don’t trust the doctors to despense it correctly and they’ve been doing it OK before covid and if we need to give mum a prn/extra diazampam we got to contact the doctor or crisis team for permission to give it. Instead of given it. Just adding to the stress for all of us.

Hi Michael - well at least weekly is a lot more sensible.

I can understand the diazepam issue. My son’s staff carry a prn medication for if he gets really agitated, and they have to get permission to administer it because as it’s a tranquiliser it’s wide open to overuse to keep him calm all the time, if not asleep. It’s just to make sure it’s given at the right time so he doesn’t get too used to the stuff, as it loses its effect. Diazepam is much the same. Best to play safe.

A carer has a right NOT to care. I really don’t think it should be up to non qualified unpaid family carer to have to travel to a hospital to get important medication because they can’t trust their own paid and qualified staff to do their jobs properly!

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