Drug Errors Policy

With respect to the prescribing, supply, storage and administration of medicines, Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd adheres fully to the Medicines Act 1968, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973 and the Nursing and Midwifery Council Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines.

In addition to the above, the organisation complies fully with Regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, “Management of Medicines”, which states that the registered person must, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure that medicines are handled safely, securely and appropriately.

The organisation understands that in order to maintain its registration with the Care Quality Commission it must comply with Guidance about Compliance: Essential Standards of Quality and Safety, Outcome 9 of which requires clear procedures to be in place covering arrangements for reporting adverse events, adverse drug reactions, incidents, errors and near-misses. These should encourage local and, where applicable, national reporting, learning and promoting an open and fair culture of safety.


Medication errors can happen even in the best-run care services. Mistakes include incidents where medication is given to the wrong person, where the wrong drug is given or where the wrong dose is given.

In this organisation the following applies.

  1. All drug errors must be reported to the person in charge, homes manager and to a responsible medical practitioner without delay. The resident and their next of kin must also be informed of the error and the resulting actions without delay.
  2. It is important that any drug errors be reported immediately if the health and wellbeing of our resident’s is to be protected. The rapid reporting of such errors means that prompt medical action can be taken where necessary.
  3. To encourage staff to report drug errors the home will maintain an open “no blame” policy where staff will not be blamed for an error. If such a policy is not followed the organization believes that there may be a danger of cover-up and concealment with potentially dangerous results.
  4. All medication errors should be fully and carefully investigated taking full account of the context, the circumstances and the position and experience of the staff involved.
  5. In certain circumstances involving trained nursing staff it may be appropriate for serious errors to be reported to the Nurse & Midwifery Council (NMC), whose Professional Conduct Committee will investigate. The NMC supports the use of local multidisciplinary critical incident panels to investigate incidents and ensure that lessons are learnt from them. In particular the NMC distinguishes between errors that are the result of reckless or incompetent practice or where an attempt has been made to conceal the error, and errors which result from pressure of work and where the error has been immediately reported.
  6. The results of any investigation into drug errors will be used to inform changes and improvements in the homes medication administration policies.


All staff are responsible for the implementation of this policy. Overall responsibility for ensuring the policy is implemented, monitored and reviewed rests with the homes manager.

Information on the policy will be:

  • circulated to all staff
  • provided to all new employees


All new staff will be encouraged to read this policy as part of their induction process. Those with specific duties and responsibilities under the policy will be offered additional training.

All staff will be offered training covering basic information about common medicines and how to recognise and deal with medication problems or errors.

All staff responsible for the administration of medication will be required to undergo medication competency tests yearly. In addition nursing staff will be expected to keep themselves up to date as specified in the NMC Guidelines for the Administration of Medicines.


Signed: ________________________________
Date: ________________________________
Policy review date: ________________________________