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Covert medications are medications that are given to a client hidden in food or drink.  This is not an acceptable practice and it can be regarded as assault. Medications can only be given covertly if there is a covert medications policy for the client which has been approved and signed by the Doctor, care managers and family.  If someone refuses their medications, try later or get someone else to try.  It may be that it is not a good time for the person. 

You can also talk to the Doctor or Pharmacist as they may be able to provide the medication in a different form, for example, a liquid.

Covert medication. This is where medication is given without the client's knowledge. So, this could be disguised in food, yoghurts. This is unacceptable. If a client refuses to take their medication, we cannot force them to take it. In such circumstances, this must be documented, reported to the line manager, and if necessary the GP to be made aware. In certain circumstances, a covert policy can be drawn up. This needs to be signed and agreed by the GP, line manager and family of the service user. This is the only acceptable situation where covert medication can be given. If your client or service user does refuse their medication, it may just be that it's a bad time for them and it's always worth coming back 10, 15 minutes later and trying again. Alternatively, ask one of your colleagues. It may be if your colleague comes in, says the same thing, they may well take the medication. Other options, of course, are seeing if you can have the medication in a different format. It may be that they prefer a liquid to a tablet, or it could just be that they're having an off day. To summarize, I must stress the importance of never giving medication without a client's acceptance unless it's under certain circumstances. This could be seen in the eyes of the law as assault.