The Home Office’s consultation on the proposed consolidation of Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 includes proposals relating to the Government’s response to the remaining Shipman enquiry recommendations.

The aim of the consultation is to seek views on the Government’s proposals to consolidate the 2001 regulations and to conduct a review of provisions under the regulations to ensure that the regulatory framework for controlled drugs is effective and reflects current policy. Responses to the consultation should be received by 28 October 2011.

The proposals have been developed by the Home Office in consultation with the DH. The proposed amendments include the following:  

  • to include paramedics and operating department practitioners in the list of healthcare professionals who must present a requisition in order to obtain controlled drugs from a supplier;
  • to extend authority to registered midwife ward managers to supply or offer to supply controlled drugs to patients in the case of drugs supplied to them by a person responsible for dispensing and supplying of medicines in a hospital, the authority is already available to senior registered nurses in charge of a ward;
  • to make it mandatory for veterinary practitioners to include their Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon number on prescriptions for schedules 2 and 3 controlled drugs (except temazepan);
  • to clarify that regulation 15(3), which enables a prescription for schedules 2 and 3 controlled drugs for the treatment of a patient in hospital to be written on the patient’s bed card, is not applicable to prisons and that a 2001 regulation compliant prescription needs to be completed; and
  • to extend the authorities currently applicable to senior registered nurses in charge of wards to include senior registered nurses in charge of prison health centres.  

General proposals

  • to include prisons in the 2001 regulations;
  • amendments to allow ambulance trusts to posses and supply controlled drugs to paramedics employed by the trust; and
  • amendments to enable the emergency sale or supply of phenobarbitone or phenobarbitone sodium.

Responses to the consultation should arrive no later than 28 October 2011.