Guidance on covert administration of medication

Friday 29 July 2016

AG (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v BMBC and SNH [2016] EWCOP 37, 6 July 2016, District Judge Bellamy. Having considered, amongst other things, the NICE guidelines on covert administration of medication, the court issued guidance for future cases.

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AG (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v BMBC and SNH [2016] EWCOP 37, 6 July 2016, District Judge Bellamy

AG, aged 92, was accommodated at SNH, a care home. The deprivation of her liberty there was authorised by a standard authorisation which AG challenged. During the proceedings it became apparent that part of AG’s care plan at the home involved the administration of medication covertly.

Having considered, amongst other things, the NICE guidelines on covert administration of medication, the court issued guidance for future cases, which included:

  • There must be full consultation with healthcare professionals and family;
  • The existence of such treatment must be clearly identified in the assessment and authorisation;
  • If the standard authorisation is for a period of longer than six months, there should be a clear provision for regular review;
  • Any change in the treatment regime should also trigger a review where such medication is covertly administered;
  • Such matters can be achieved by placing appropriate conditions to which the standard authorisation is subject.

The full judgment is available here.

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