Skip navigation

Controlled Drugs: Monitoring Adherence to the 2016 NICE Guidance

Chaired by David Heller Chief Pharmacist Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, this conference focuses on the safe use, prescribing and management of controlled drugs including monitoring adherence against the 2016 NICE guidance. NICE stated that the new guidance will help health and social care professionals negotiate complex legislation and regulations to ensure they are doing all they can to care for patients being treated with controlled drugs.

Dr Weeliat Chong Vice Chair Guideline Committee Controlled drugs: safe use and management NICE and Chief Pharmacist Humber NHS Foundation opens the conference with an update on 'Controlled Drugs: Monitoring adherence to the 2016 NICE Guidance on Safe Use and Management' and will discuss:

  • implementation in practice 
  • current issues and moving forward 

Pre conference abstract:

Application of NICE Guideline NG46

Controlled Drugs: Safe Use and Management

Controlled drugs (CDs) are regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the associated Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013.  Health and social care professionals who prescribe, dispense, administer or handle CDs are required to work within the legal frameworks to ensure the safe and secure use of CDs.

The NICE Guideline NG46 Controlled Drugs: Safe Use and Management provides evidence-based and good-practice recommendations for organisations and professionals on systems and processes in order to reduce safety risks while ensuring appropriate and convenient access for patients who require CDs.

Health and social care professionals should use NG46 to guide their work and improve their practice.  Organisations should identify a lead to carry out a baseline assessment and develop an action plan to put relevant recommendations into practice.

The NICE website ( provides many useful resources for implementation, e.g. baseline assessment tool, NICE Pathways etc. 

Dr Weeliat Chong Biography

Dr Weeliat Chong is the Chief Pharmacist and Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer of Humber NHS Foundation Trust.  He was the Chair of the NICE Medicines Optimisation Committee and the Vice Chair of the NICE Controlled Drugs – Safe Management and Use Committee.  Dr Chong was also the specialist member of the NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for medicines optimisation.

Full powerpoint presentation

Geraldine Yates Regional Medicines Manager, Central Region and Robert Allan Controlled Drugs Officer Care Quality Commission continue the morning sessions with a joint presentation on 'Overseeing the safer management of controlled drugs' and will cover:

  • assessing and overseeing how health and social care providers manage controlled drugs 
  • self assessment 
  • findings from the CQC Annual Report “Safer Management of Controlled Drugs” 
  • maintaining a safe environment for managing controlled drugs

Pre conference abstract:

CQC are the regulator of health and care services across England and inspect and rate services by focussing on five questions, is the service: safe, effective, caring, responsive, is it well -led?

Arrangements for controlled drugs within a service are assessed along with arrangements for all other medicines as part of CQC’s inspection processes. When we inspect services, we expect the arrangements in place for controlled drugs to cover all aspects of the controlled drug journey i.e. ordering and receipt, safe storage, record keeping, prescribing, clinical use, destruction and so on. The arrangements must include how to investigate and report concerns and should include auditing and monitoring. The arrangements should take account of current national guidance, such as the NICE guidance, NHS Improvement safety alerts and so on and be regularly reviewed to reflect developments. Our inspection findings feed into and inform our overall assessment of a service and whether we need to take any enforcement action.

To support organisations’ controlled drug arrangements, controlled drug self-assessment tools for both primary and secondary care organisations are published on our website. Providers can use them to generate their own action plan.

CQC also has responsibilities to help maintain a safe environment for CDs through its oversight of the implementation of The Controlled Drugs (Supervision and Management of Use) Regulations 2013. This follows on from the strengthened governance arrangements put in place for controlled drugs following the Shipman enquiry. CQC’s national controlled drug responsibilities include maintaining and publishing a register of all CD accountable officers across England, attending NHS England led controlled drug local intelligence networks, chairing a national group and associated sub-groups of regulators and agencies with a controlled drug remit and working collaboratively with cross border colleagues. Newsletters produced by the sub-groups to the Controlled Drugs National Group are published on the CD pages of the CQC website.

CQC’s controlled drug’s team report on their findings in an annual report to government and the report is published on the CQC website. Our latest ninth annual report, covering January to December 2015, made three recommendations to strengthen existing arrangements for the reporting and sharing of controlled drug concerns across England. We showcased local and national initiatives to promote the safe use of controlled drugs and to reduce harm from their misuse. The report also includes an overview of prescribing data and identified prescribing trends.  

Geraldine Yates Biography:

Geraldine qualified as a pharmacist in the early-1980s, and worked predominantly in hospital pharmacy. She started work in regulation in the 1980s before becoming a fulltime regulator in 2002. Geraldine is the regional medicines manager for CQC’s central region, managing a team who work in all sectors regulated by CQC. She maintains a keen interest in hospital pharmacy and supports a network of pharmacist specialist in CQC with a special interest in this sector.

Robert Allan's Biography:

Robert has worked in the civil service since the late 1980s, at the Department of Health in a number of policy roles. During his time at the Department of Health Robert delivered the policies around the safe management and use of controlled drugs and was responsible for updating the “The Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2013. Robert joined the Care Quality Commission in late 2013 to become the National Controlled Drugs Officer responsible for delivering CQC’s controlled drug responsibilities.

Full powerpoint presentation

Future conferences of interest:

Non Medical Prescribing in Cancer Care
Monday 5 June 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Electronic Prescribing In Hospitals: Moving Forward
Thursday 13 July 2017 
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

Non Medical Prescribing on the Wards
Thursday 13 July 2017 
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

Advancing IV Therapy
Friday 15 September 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Non Medical Prescribing in Cardiology
Monday 18 September 2017 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

11 May 2017


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences