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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-05312: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 12 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what safeguards are in place to ensure that the security measures specified by the UK Government for the transportation of controlled drugs are adhered to by (a) NHS boards and (b) private and independent pharmacies.

Answered by: Shona Robison 9 January 2017

The Scottish Government issued guidance to NHS Scotland following the introduction of the Health Act 2006 by the UK Parliament and the governance arrangements for controlled drugs which the Act and subsequent relevant Regulations put in place:-

The legislation requires all healthcare organisations holding stocks of controlled drugs to appoint Accountable Officers responsible for the safe, appropriate and effective management and use of controlled drugs.

In NHS Scotland, Controlled Drugs Accountable Officers (CDAOs) are responsible for ensuring the safe management and use of controlled drugs within their organisation. CDAOs should ensure that their own organisation, and those providing services to their organisation, have adequate and up-to-date Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in relation to controlled drugs. The CDAO Network publishes and updates guidance on good practice in the management of controlled drugs in primary care, including monitoring, auditing and reporting:-

In addition, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the pharmacy regulator in Great Britain, sets standards for all registered pharmacies which includes requirements for medicines to be stored securely and supplied safely to patients, and for each pharmacy to identify and manage risks associated with the service they provide. GPhC inspections cover the full range of services a pharmacy provides, including any medicine delivery services.

The GPhC also shares intelligence and works collaboratively with various regulatory bodies and organisations across Great Britain, such as the Home Office, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and local Controlled Drug Accountable Officer Networks to help achieve collective patient safety and public protection aims.