The CQC has recently published its 5th annual report on the governance of controlled drugs covering the year ending 31 December 2011.

“Designated bodies” (which include primary care trusts, NHS trusts, foundation trusts and independent hospitals) are required by regulation, to appoint controlled drugs authorised officers (CDAOs). The report makes a number of recommendations in relation to CDAOs including that they should:  

  • Ensure that they have systems in place to assure the safe prescribing and administration of controlled drugs
  • Promptly notify the CQC and their controlled drugs local intelligence network (CDLINs) if the identity of the CDAO changes
  • Be involved with medicines safety, risk and clinical governance groups where incidents involving controlled drugs are reported
  • Have suitable systems in place to ensure safe and effective use of analgesic transdermal fentanyl patches

Other recommendations made in the report include:

  • The use of methylphenidate and dexamfetamine (both of which can be used in the treatment of ADHD) must be carefully monitored to ensure they are being prescribed appropriately. The report notes that high amounts of dexamfetamines are prescribed privately while there has been a continued increase in the use of methylphenidate across all sectors
  • The use of a standard controlled Drug Requisition Form (FP10 CDF) should be encouraged