Care Homes and COVID-19: Training & education

Tiffany Barrett, Interim co-director, South West Medicines Information and Training, NHS England SouthPublished

Training and education for the pharmacy team working with care homes

There are a lot of resources available to train pharmacy teams working with care homes and in primary care for example, some may be trained via the Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes programme. We have collated a number of them here, but this is not an exclusive list.

SPS Medicines Use and Safety team: Monthly webinars

The SPS MUS team host and run a number of webinars, many of which may be of interest to those working with care homes. Topics include –

You will need to pre-register to attend each event, details are given above. If you aren’t able to make that date, then you can catch up later by clicking on the MUS Monthly Webinars link above.

Previous webinars that are of interest include –

NICE Social Care Guideline (SC1) Publ 14th March 2014 Managing medicines in care homes

Our summary

  • This guideline was updated on 1st May 2020 to reflect the information on reusing medicines in care homes
  • Whilst not COVID-19 specific, the basics of good practice in managing medicines in care homes are important, particularly for those new to the sector.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

Our summary

The RPS website contains a lot of useful resources for the pharmacy team. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the RPS has made a number of these free to access. Click here for more details. Key resources include –

  • Working in Care homes – a guide which provides an overview of the different roles the pharmacy team may have within a care home.
  • A simple self-assessment tool developed by RPS with CPPE, that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working with care homes may want to undertake in order to identify gaps in learning, especially for COVID-19 scenarios. Available here This is aimed at pharmacy professionals redeployed to work in care homes and does not replace the MOCH training pathway.
  • The RPS have developed a care home specific training hub (published on 28th May) where pharmacy professionals can update gaps in learning. Existing material will be used from educational partners.

In addition the RPS are providing Q&A webinars to support working in care homes. Recent ones can be found here and include –

  • RPS/CMHP: Optimising management of anxiety and depression in care home residents during COVID-19 (9th July 2020)
  • RPS/CMHP: COVID-19 Q&A Mental Health in Care Homes (23rd June 2020)

You will need to be logged in to the RPS website to access the webinars.

Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE)

Our summary

CPPE has created a learning and resource hub (here) which contains CPPE materials and resources from other organisations. Useful sections include –

  • Returning to pharmacy practice
  • Working in primary care and care homes including clinical fact sheets and links to additional resources for primary care

In addition, CPPE in conjunction with regional Medicines Information colleagues,  has produced e-learning entitled Answering Medicines Related Enquiries in Primary Care. It covers a variety of enquiry types and works through the different resources available to answer those questions.

Health Education England Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for primary care

Our summary

  • HEE offers a wide range of online educational resources ranging from profession specific development to more general sector based learning.

Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) RCGPLearning – COVID-19 resource hub

Our summary

  • The RCGP has collated a number of podcasts and top tips to support developing telephone triage/consultation and online consultation skills – here. Click on RCGP resources to access
  • Top Tips for GPs caring for Care Homes – a summary of examples of good practice which are relevant to pharmacy teams working with care homes

Other providers

There are a number of providers of training and education for the pharmacy team, you may have local access to providers including –

The AHSN network Primary care in care homes during COVID-19 webinar

Our summary

  • The AHSN network had a webinar on 27th May 2020 – you can watch a recording of the webinar at the above link and also download the presentation.

Care Quality Commission: Training and competency for medicines optimisation in adult social care

Last updated 27th January 2020

Our summary

  • If you are new to working with care homes and not sure of the training and competency assessments of the staff who work in them, this brief CQC summary will guide you

Medicines Safety Portal

Our summary

The Medicines Safety Portal is a collaboration between Southampton Medicines Advice Service and Wessex AHSN. Sections include –

  • Problem solving and medicines – including additives in medicines, COVID-19 and medicines, shortages of medicines
  • Info sources – links to free online resources to help make decisions about medicines

Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) PCPA COVID-19 hub

Our summary

  • PCPA provides a number of resources including webinars and clinical management resources relevant to those working in primary care

PrescQipp COVID-19 virus and medicines

Our summary

  • PrescQipp provides both publicly available and subscription only resources and tools for healthcare professionals


Administration update (18/2/2021)

If we’ve missed any advice or guidance which you think would be helpful to care home pharmacy teams, please get in touch.