Safe and Secure Handling of Medicines guidance

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) welcomes the publication of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Safe and Secure Handling of Medicines guidance and is pleased both to support and endorse this document.

Dr William Harrop-Griffiths, Chair of the RCoA's Clinical Quality and Research Board commented: “Patient safety is at the heart of what we do as a medical Royal College. I believe the revised guidance within this document will further enhance the safe handling of medicines in the clinical environment and thereby promote the improved safety of all patients."

The key principle for anaesthetists in this document is that the manipulation of medicines outside of pharmacy is minimised. This can be achieved with the use of prefilled syringes and other “ready-to-administer” preparations, which now becomes the appropriate standard of care in all NHS hospitals. This key change will decrease the incidence of errors in preparing medicines in the operating theatres. We also welcome the stress that the document places on the clear labelling of all medicines.


12 December 2018