This site is intended for health professionals only

Post-Shipman rules “working well”


An independent regulator has said that drug controls introduced following the case of killer doctor Harold Shipman are working well.

The Shipman inquiry blamed ineffective monitoring as the doctor – who ran a one-man practice in Hyde, Greater Manchester – obtained large quantities of drugs which he used to kill at least 15 and possibly up to 200 patients.

Shipman stockpiled vast amounts of diamorphine – or heroin – which he had either falsely prescribed or taken from cancer patients after they had died.

New rules were introduced in 2007 after the inquiry concluded there were serious shortcomings in the way controlled drugs were regulated.

Healthcare workers are now better trained to deal with controlled drugs and to identify problems sooner, according to a Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report.

Cynthia Bower, CQC’s chief executive, said: “Healthcare staff are better trained and more aware of issues relating to controlled drugs. We also have access to more information about prescribing patterns. Organisations should keep building on this good work and continue to reduce risks to patients as much as they possibly can.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine