Guidance on the safe use and management of controlled drugs has been published by NICE.
The new guidance contains information on the following areas:
- Developing and establishing systems and processes for organisations
- Record keeping
- Risk assessment
- Processes for reporting controlled drug‑related incidents
- Prescribing controlled drugs
- Obtaining and supplying controlled drugs
- Administering controlled drugs
- Handling controlled drugs
- Monitoring the use of controlled drugs
The guidance includes advice such as prescribe no more than 30 days’ worth of a CD. If a larger quantity is prescribed, the reasons for this should be documented in the person’s care record. A seven year review of medicines-related safety incidents concerning controlled drugs in England and Wales concludes that five commonly used controlled drugs were responsible for 113 incidents (88.4%) leading to serious harm (death and severe harm) with overdose accounting for 89 (69.5%) of the 128 incidents of serious harm.
A link to the NICE CD guidance has been placed in our library of controlled drugs resources.