Cuts must not jeopardise drug management progress

The progress made in managing controlled drugs more effectively should not be undermined by the current economic cutbacks, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned.

In the third annual report of the progress made on implementing the controlled drugs regulations, the CQC says health and social care organisations are continuing to develop systems and services to manage controlled drugs more effectively.

The CQC found that the role of the accountable officer, who is responsible for monitoring controlled drugs, is not embedded in healthcare organisations.

But it also warned that managing and monitoring systems for controlled drugs will ‘require ongoing activity and vigilence’ if the progress made in the past three years is to be sustained.

The report concluded: ‘With the current national measures to make efficiencies in budgets, it will be important to ensure that the gains made in the safe management and use of controlled drugs are not lost in the drive for cost-savings.’

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: ‘We’re greatly encouraged by the progress made by provider organisations in improving and embedding the systems and processes necessary to support frontline managers in managing controlled drugs to pick up concerns.

‘Despite this progress, we still feel there are improvements to be made and will be asking for improved regulation of controlled drugs to capture data on requisitions and for further guidance on prescribing of opioids and amphetamines across all settings.’

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