New professional guidance for administering medicines – replacing NMC standards for medicines management

 In Medicines Management Processes, Pharmacy Information, Regulations and Standards

The NMC standards for medicines management have been withdrawn from 28th January 2019. This means that these standards will no longer be recognised as the professional guidance for nurses and have been replaced by the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s professional guidance on the administration of medicines in healthcare settings.

All staff involved in administering medication to patients should familiarise themselves with the new guidance. It is less prescriptive than the previous standards, but refers nurses to ‘organisational policies and procedures’. All medication policies and procedures should be reviewed to take this new professional guidance into account.

Note: references to the previous NMC standards should be removed.

The guidance emphasises the importance of record keeping and recommends that risk assessments are used for:

  • Determining self-administration
  • Second signatories, witness requirements and delegating
  • Transcribing policy.

Healthcare regulators will be looking for evidence of compliance with these professional guidelines, so it is important that they are incorporated into the organisation’s clinical governance framework.


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