Jersey man died after 'ethical drug' query in care home

Nurses Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The report recommended clearer rules around deciding if a patient has the capacity to make decisions over medication

A man died in a Jersey care home a few days after his medication was stopped without checking with a doctor, a serious case review has found.

Mr H, aged in his early 80s, was at a home for people with dementia in 2013 when he was prescribed antibiotics for bronchopneumonia.

Nurses put the medication in his food without consulting him as they felt he could not make an informed decision.

Concerns over the ethics of this led to it being stopped. He died a week later.

The review by Jersey's Safeguarding Partnership Board found that while the decision to give him the medication covertly was focused on his health and wellbeing, it should have been discussed with other people responsible for his care and better documented.

It said there did not appear to be a structure for undertaking a mental capacity assessment to check whether he was capable of deciding for himself.

The review said: "Adult Safeguarding were appropriately involved when safeguarding concerns were raised.

"Their response was considered to have had a keen and particular focus on the process, and this was detrimental to Mr H during his final illness."

Among the recommendations of the serious case review was to use Mr H's circumstances as a case study in future learning materials.

It also said treatment of care home residents should be arranged in consultation with hospitals and GPs.

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