Gail Curphey, Sancus’ lead CDAO trainer, spoke at the National Healthcare Conference in London at the end of September.


Here, Gail kindly tells us about the key areas she covered in her talk.


I was asked to cover issues with regards to moving into the role of Controlled Drug Accountable Officer and felt that this could be broken down into 3 main areas.

  • Developing yourself
  • Developing your team
  • Developing your organisation.  
Developing yourself really involves understanding and acknowledging the importance of the role and the skills/knowledge set required. You do not need to be an expert in every field but you do have to have an understanding of the responsibilities you hold and how you can get help and support. I often find that people are put in the position of AO whilst already having a full time position and it is necessary for the Board of your organisation to provide resources to facilitate your implementation of policies/audits/investigations as they arise. This is the bit where people often fall about laughing! 
Resources are vital and these are best provided in the form of a “team”, either real or virtual. “Real” because you will need to ensure regular CD audits/reviews of SOPs etc are undertaken within your organisation but also you will need access to an investigative interviewer should any incidents occur. This is often an element of which people are unaware and where Sancus can help. “Virtual”, because there are a lot of people available to support you outside of your organisation such as the LIN members, GPhC Pharmacy Inspectors, Police Controlled Drug Liaison Officers, NHS Protect etc. Our 2 day AO course covers all of these elements along with investigative interviewing/managing incidents/Court room procedures etc and whilst you would hope these latter skills will not be needed often, when a serious incident does occur, they are crucial. Having skilled/trained staff available when required is paramount. 
Lastly – developing your organisation. It is often the case that the Board of the Organisation for whom you are the “statutory CDAO” has very little understanding of why you are actually there and the potential implications of untoward CD incidents. Corporate manslaughter, Gross Negligence Manslaughter, Health and Safety are all covered in our Sancus training programme. At the other end of the spectrum, how do you keep those at the coal face updated on their roles and responsibilities where CD issues are concerned? 
If however you think you have it all covered, how about re-assuring yourself by commissioning a Sancus Pre CQC CD inspection audit, just to check all is well?


Gail has been asked to speak again at a follow up National Healthcare Conference on CDAO issues on

Monday, 16 January 2017 – De Vere W1 Conference Centre, London


If you’re interested you can book here, Healthcare Conferences – CDAO and for a 20% discount

quote reference hcuk20spkr