All healthcare professionals need to remember their responsibility to speak up on areas of concern that might negatively affect patient safety, including prescribing, administering, dispensing, supplying and disposing of controlled drugs.
This is a key recommendation of the 2018 CQC report into the safer management of controlled drugs.
The 2018 report finds that three drugs make up over half of unaccounted for losses of controlled drugs in 2018-19. The three drugs are: methadone, morphine and oxycodone.
The report also highlights the “greater risks” associated with online providers, particularly with the privately-prescribed controlled drugs in lower schedules, for example co-codamol, co-dydramol, codeine and dihydrocodeine. It highlights that there is “a lack of scrutiny and challenge” in this sector, as privately-prescribed prescriptions are not currently required to be submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority and therefore cannot be monitored.
The report also confirms ongoing issues relating to CDs from its inspections, in particular, use of the mandatory requisition form, record-keeping and storage issues. These are detailed in the CQC’s 2017 CD report (p8), available to download.