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RPS updates medicines handling guidance

A new version of the Safe and Secure Handling of Medicines guide has been published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Covering all aspects of good practice, from obtaining medicines to storing them, the guide is an essential tool for all health professionals working with medicines to ensure patient safety, the RPS says.

The guide sets out four core principles that should govern pharmacy teams’ approach to handling medicines and can be used to develop policies and assessment procedures. There is supplementary guidance on medicines storage and controlled drugs.

RPS president Ash Soni said: “With £20.2bn spent on medicines in 2017- 18 ensuring our systems are working right is fundamental. This essential guidance provides the framework for all pharmacists and other health professionals across the NHS to improve their handling of medicines.

“It ensures we can account for a medicine from the time of ordering through to it being used, so improving quality of care and patient safety.”

Care Quality Commission head of medicines optimisation Sarah Billington said the update “provides useful guidance on a range of issues and a focus on the importance of a clear governance structure for the handling of medicines.”

The guidance is scheduled to be reviewed again in December 2022.

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