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CQC highlights best practice in CD management

Reporting incidents and near misses regarding controlled drugs is important, the CQC has said after noting that 39 per cent of care homes reported no incidents regarding CDs in the past 12 months.

The safer management of controlled drugs  latest update found that during the past 12 months:  

  • 67 per cent (13,501) of services (20,184) administered controlled drugs
  • of the services that administer controlled drugs, 17 per cent (2,248) reported controlled drugs incidents in the previous 12 months
  • 39 per cent (7,846) of services (20,122) reported no medicines errors at all.

The report also highlights good examples in care homes of the principles and application of STOMP guidance (stopping over-medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both). Some medicines that STOMP guidance refers to are controlled drugs, such as benzodiazepines or Z-drugs.

A key aspect of this guidance is ensuring that prescribing and administration of these medicines is appropriate and, where possible, that non-drug options are available. As an example of best practice, the regulator for England case studies Greensleeves Care Home in Crawley, West Sussex, where residents’ interests were harnessed to reduce use of sedative medicines.    

Making recommendations for the safer management of controlled drugs, the CQC report advises:

  • Make sure your governance processes are up-to-date and fit for purpose  
  • Make sure prescribing at transfer of care is completed safely
  • Know the identity of your local controlled drugs accountable officer (CDAO) and police controlled drug liaison officer CLDO
  • Work collaboratively to improve the prescribing, managing and monitoring of controlled drugs
  • Make sure you have a valid Home Office controlled drugs licence as required.

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