NICE have just published Guideline NG46 – Controlled Drugs: Safe Use and Management (April 2016)

Since the Shipman Inquiry’s Fourth Report in 2004, the government have introduced significant legislative changes to the Act to strengthen the governance arrangements for controlled drugs. Arrangements have been established to encourage good practice in the management of controlled drugs, as well as helping to detect unusual or poor clinical practice, criminal activity or risk to patients. Organisations must be able to demonstrate that their systems and processes allow controlled drugs to be managed and used safely, while helping to ensure appropriate and convenient access for those people who need treatment. Ongoing activity and vigilance is needed to sustain the positive developments that have been achieved.

This NICE guidance provides further clarity and good practice recommendations for the safe use and management of controlled drugs across all types of  settings. There is no single model for the effective implementation of NICE guidance, but one thing is for sure – you will need some manpower! This is where Sancus can help. Different organisations will implement NICE guidance in different ways, however what we do know is that changes should be implemented as soon as possible and that putting recommendations into practice can take time.

As a starter this Guidance recommends that you carry out a baseline assessment against the recommendations to identify whether there are any gaps in current service provision and then develop an action plan. Using our experienced pharmacists Sancus can carry out this work for you. Your work is then half done!

Some organisations may wish to follow our advice in its entirety, but others may wish to just adapt what Sancus suggest or incorporate parts of it into local improvement models.  We can work with you, to your agenda thus ensuring that you are implementing the NICE guidance and its related quality standards to help meet your legal requirements and those set out in the NHS Constitution and the Health and Social Care Act 2012(section 8).

In an increasingly diversified and competitive environment, health and social care providers need to be able to quickly and easily demonstrate how their organisation is performing and that their focus is on increasing quality. You need to be open and transparent with commissioners and service users about how safe and clinically/cost effective your services are. One way of doing this is to use relevant NICE guidance and quality standards to show where high-quality care is being provided and highlight areas for improvement.

Don’t delay…..Sancus are here to help!

Gail Curphy BSc, MRPharmS, Dip Presc.Sci (Sancus CDAO lead trainer and pharmacist)