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Warning over controlled drugs

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Community nurses need to improve their recording of controlled drug prescribing in care homes, the government’s health watchdog has warned.

In a report into the safe management of controlled drugs, the Healthcare Commission said in many cases it had found care homes had no records of the administration of such drugs to residents signed by the community nurses that had given them.

At present community nurses are not obliged to complete such records on behalf of the care home, only to complete NHS records.

The report, in response to the Shipman inquiry, concludes that nurses are not always willing to maintain a record of medicine administration.

As a result, the commission recommended that all healthcare professionals who prescribe or administer medicines to people living in care homes ensure that the care home now has a written record of the prescription and administration of the drugs.

Commission chief executive Anna Walker said: ‘We owe it to Shipman’s victims and their relatives to be vigilant in ensuring that controlled drugs are managed safely and effectively.’

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