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Medicines Code

The Department of Health requires that NHS Trusts establish, document and maintain an effective system to ensure that medicines are handled in a safe and secure manner.

There have been a number of changes and developments in recent years:

  • New professional practices concerning the use of medicines have developed and continue to develop.
  • The formation of community based functional teams who have had to create new approaches to care provision for people who would have previously been inpatients.
  • New healthcare practitioners are dealing with medicines as a routine part of their day-to-day work.
  • The use of new information technology to assist medicine use requires new policies and procedures.
  • The concepts of patient focused care and patient empowerment require a fresh approach to some long-established practices.
  • Clinical governance and risk management are high on the Trust's agenda.
  • The development and deployment of non-medical prescribers.

This Medicines Code defines the policies and procedures to be followed within the South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSHFT) for the prescribing, ordering, dispensing, storing and administering of medicines. The SSSHFT Medicines Code is not intended to apply to any other NHS Trust, unless this is specifically stated in a contract for pharmacy services with that Trust.

All staff and disciplines working, including agency and bank staff, within the Trust who are involved in some way with the use of medicines, must familiarise themselves with the correct procedures contained in this Code

Link to the full Policy:

Medicines Code

Link to the Equalities Impact Analysis:

Medicines Code and SOPs - EIA

Link to the Standard Operating Procedures:

Prescribing Medicines SOP

Ordering, Receipt Losses or Discrepancies Diversion and Disposal of Medicines SOP

Pharmacy Services SOP

Assessing competency for medicines administration SOP

Preparation of Medicines SOP

Administration of Medicines in the in-patient setting SOP

Transport of Medicines SOP

Storage of Medicines & Checking of Stock Balances SOP

Covert Administration SOP

Development & Use of Patient Group Directions (PGDs) SOP

Handling and Storage of Patients Own Medicines on In-patient Wards SOP

Custody and safe keeping of medicines keys SOP

Use of Essential Oils and Complimentary Therapies SOP

Clinical Trials Involving Investigational Medicinal Products SOP

Medication Errors and Medicine Defect Reporting SOP

Community Based Practitioners SOP

Day Units and Respite Care SOP

Use of Compliance Aids SOP

Prescribing Controlled Drugs SOP

Ordering Receipt Transport Storage Records of Controlled Drugs SOP

Secure Handling of Controlled Stationery SOP

Preparation and Administration of Controlled Drugs against a Prescription SOP

Disposal of Controlled Drug stock, expired or no longer required, and Management of Spillage SOP

Controlled Drugs - Checks Audits and Discrepancies SOP

Disposal of Suspected Illict Substances SOP

Monitoring Compliance SOP

Safe Handling Storage and Transport of Medicines within Community Teams SOP

Service User Identification - SOP

Medicines Reconciliation SOP

Illicit or Suspicious Substances SOP

Reducing Dosing Errors with Opioid Medicines - CD SOP

Secure Handling of Controlled Stationery SOP

Medical Gases SOP

Administration of Medicines in the Community Setting SOP

Management of CDs in the Hospital Pharmacy SOP

Carriage of Medicines SOP

Self-Adimistration SOP

Guidance on the Administration to Adults of Oil-based Depot and other Long-Acting Intramuscular Antipsychotic Injections

Ordering and Issuing of Medication by the HIV Treatment and Care Service based in Stafford GUM Service SOP