Progress made on controlled drug monitoring

Good progress has been made in the monitoring of controlled drugs since the Shipman Inquiry, according to the Healthcare Commission.

However, individuals are not always confident raising concerns about other healthcare professionals, the watchdog found.

In January 2007, legislation was passed to tighten up the use of controlled drugs, like diamorphine, after killer Harold Shipman abused the system with relative ease over a long period.

The Safer Management of Controlled Drugs is the first annual review of the new measures by the Healthcare Commission.
The review found ‘significant improvements,’ in the monitoring of controlled drugs, including the appointment of responsible officers to monitor drug usage locally.

The controls have not led to a reduction in prescribing, or made it harder for patients to get the drugs they require, the report says.

The report recommends that intelligence networks need to be developed further to monitor concerns about individuals promptly.

Healthcare Commission

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