Safe management of medicines for social care staff - elearning for healthcare
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Available on the Learning Hub

This programme is available on the NHS Learning Hub. We recommend you read the information on this webpage to find out more about the programme before you access the learning (

More information about the Learning Hub and the migration of elfh programmes can be found here.

About the Safe management of medicines for social care staff programme

The Safe Management of Medicines for Social Care Staff elearning modules are aimed at the non-registered medicines workforce, focusing on the knowledge and skills necessary to handle and administer medicines safely in domiciliary and residential settings. It also explains some of the differences between handling medicines in residential care homes compared with nursing care homes. The materials are based on the requirements of the CQC and NICE.

The learning is split into 4 modules which each take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete:
Module 1: Introduction to Handling Medicines Safely
Module 2: Administering Medication
Module 3: Ordering, receiving, storing and disposal of medicines
Module 4: Understanding Medicines

The elearning modules have been designed primarily to support social care staff. However, informal carers, such as unpaid carers helping a family member, neighbour, or friend should find useful.

At the end the course learners will be able to:
• describe their roles and responsibilities in relation to managing medicines (including training, legislation, policies, record keeping and medicines safety)
• describe the process for safely administering medicines via the common range of administration routes
• describe the process for ordering, storing, and disposing of medicines in different social care settings
• describe safe processes for the general use of medicines in social care settings (including when required medicines, homely remedies, and covert administration)


More information

A wide range of the non-registered and registered workforce, patients and their carers all contribute to safe handling and administration of medicine. It is important that people are trained appropriately to manage medicines safely and that people are supported to make shared decisions about medicines.

NHS England North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation worked with health and social care colleagues to develop a collection of medicines related training resources for non-registered staff across the wider workforce.

Additional resources linked to the programme can be found here: An Interactive Guide to What good looks like for assisted medicines taking

Primary and secondary audiences

Health and social care staff who handle, administer, or manage medicines in any social care setting (care homes, domiciliary care, etc).

Informal carers may also find module 2 useful to support the safe administration of medicines.


The content for the modules was developed by Katherine O’Loughlin (Practice Learning Facilitator, NHS England – North West).

Some content was derived from other e-learning packages that were developed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and North of England eLearning Club, Health Education England, namely:

  • ‘Handling medicines safely for social care staff’ Version 1 published June 2019.
  • Understanding Medicines Supply – Module 2 of the Medicines Optimisation online training programme
  • Supporting Patients To Take Their Medicines – Module 3 of the Medicines Optimisation online training programme
  • Safe Handling and Reducing Risks with Medicines Module 4 of the Medicines Optimisation online training programme
  • Medication Administration e-learning for Community Intermediate Care Services

The content was reviewed by staff from the North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, NHS England). Elly Wakeling, Charlotte Young, Anne Mallon, Gill Risby and Stephen Doherty.

The modules were designed and produced by Regional elearning developer for Technology Enhanced Learning, Health Education (North) England.

Thank you to all the members of the original working groups for their patience, time, support, contributions, and feedback.

Meet the team

  • Katherine O'Loughlin

    Katherine O'Loughlin

    Wider Workforce, Practice Learning Facilitator, NHS England – North West
  • Anne Mallon

    Anne Mallon

    Pharmacy Practice Learning Facilitator, NHS England, North East and Yorkshire
  • Charlotte Young

    Charlotte Young

    Practice learning facilitator, School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation
  • Stephen Doherty

    Stephen Doherty

    Head of Foundation School, School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, NHS England – North West
  • Michelle Judson

    Michelle Judson

    TEL Learning Technology Analyst, NHS England
  • Andi Blackmore

    Andi Blackmore

    Programme Manager - Technology Enhanced Learning, NHS England
  • Jen Plested

    Jen Plested

    External Project Manager - Technology Enhanced Learning, NHS England
  • Louise Garrahan

    Louise Garrahan

    Senior Marketing and Communications Officer - Technology Enhanced Learning, NHS England

How to access

To access this programme, you will require a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below. Note that if you hold a full elfh account, you can sign into the Learning Hub using your existing login credentials.

Register >

To view the Safe management of medicines for social care staff programme, select the View button below.  If you already have a Learning Hub account, you will also be able to login and access the resources within the programme.

View >

If you already have an account with elfh, then you can enrol on to the Safe management of medicines for social care staff programme by logging in to the elfh Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section. 

Not an NHS organisation?  

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access to the Learning Hub, you may be able to access the service if you have an existing OpenAthens account. Please go to Learning Hub and sign in with your existing credentials.

If you do not have an existing OpenAthens account, please contact elfh directly to check whether you may be eligible for access.

Registering large numbers of users 

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Safe management of medicines for social care staff programme, please contact elfh directly. 


elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies