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New guidance on vitamin D supplements

New guidance on vitamin D supplementation in care homes has been published.

This states that vitamin D supplementation should be considered in a person-centred way, taking into account the resident’s personal choice, needs and circumstances and without over-medicalising something that is a nutritional supplement, rather than a medicine or drug.

Care home staff should not request a prescription for vitamin D supplements from general practices. The recommended dosage of 10 micrograms is classed as a nutritional supplement and is lower than the treatment dosages of vitamin D available on prescription. Care homes should make their own arrangements in terms of purchasing the supplement. If a resident is already receiving a prescription for vitamin D from their general practice (at any dose), then they should continue to receive it on prescription, and there is no need for any additional vitamin D supplementation.

Care homes are asked to adopt the new guidance, published by the Care Inspectorate Scotland, as soon as it is practical to do so. Discussions can form part of regular routine care planning, for example on admission to a care home, or as part of a care plan review. Care homes should inform the resident’s general practice whenever a supplement has been commenced.

Workshops on the new guidance have been arranged on Thursday 14 December 2023, from 15:00-16:30 and Tuesday 23 January 2024, from 11:00-12.30,  Join the workshops from The Hub.

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