The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published a new version of the Safe and Secure Handling of Medicines the essential guide for all health professionals working with medicines to ensure patient safety.
This professional guidance covers all aspects of good practice in obtaining medicines, their transport, receipt, manufacture or manipulation and storage. It includes information on the issuing of medicines and their removal or disposal.
Produced in line with the gold standard of NICE accreditation, the guidance was widely consulted on earlier this year.
RPS President Ash Soni said:
“With £20.2bn spent on medicines in 2017-2018 ensuring our systems are working right is fundamental. This essential guidance provides the framework for all pharmacists and other health professionals across the NHS to improve their handling of medicines. It ensures we can account for a medicine from the time of ordering through to it being used, so improving quality of care and patient safety.
Sarah Billington, Head of Medicines Optimisation at the Care Quality Commission said:
“This long-awaited update promotes a consistent approach to the development of policies and procedures at a local level. It provides useful guidance on a wide range of issues and a focus on the importance of a clear governance structure for the handling of medicines. Providers of healthcare could use this resource to drive improvements, and make care safer for patients.”
Jatinder Harchowal, Chair of the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group and Chief Pharmacist at the Royal Marsden Hospital said:
“This important updated resource forms the basis of making sure hospitals have watertight systems in place to provide the safe and secure handling of medicines. It provides an assurance framework to patients and boards of hospitals as well providing clear guidance for staff, making it essential for use in hospitals and all settings where medicines are involved.”