AH9 Supervise methadone consumption


For this standard you need to provide methadone for consumption by individuals. It covers checking the authenticity and validity of methadone prescriptions, preparing and labelling of required doses and supervising consumption by individuals.

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. the legal obligations and organisational policies regarding client confidentiality
  2. national legislation for the administration of drugs including the Medicines Act of 1968 and regulations the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1985
  3. what is regarded as unacceptable behaviour from an individual by your organisation
  4. the importance of following the prescribed method, dosage and frequency and the risks if this is not done (such as failure of the medication to work, over-medication, under-medication)
  5. the information which needs to be on a medicine label and its significance
  6. the common side effects of the medicines and the common adverse reactions related to the medications being used
  7. how to respond to the common adverse reactions related to the medications being used
  8. why containers of prescribed methadone doses must not be shared by more than one individual
  9. why it is important to offer water to an individual after methadone consumption and to converse with them
  10. why you must contact the prescriber if the individual does not consume the whole dose under supervision
  11. why you should inform the individual in advance of the last dose on the current prescription
  12. why containers and stock bottles must be rinsed and their labels removed prior to disposal
  13. the importance of keeping full and accurate records, and how to do so
  14. the potential benefits of providing general health promotion advice when supervising methadone consumption
  15. why the volume of methadone dispensed should be checked by a pharmacist or designated member of staff
  16. the importance of safe storage for methadone that is supplied for home use
  17. why hygiene precautions are necessary
  18. why prepared prescriptions must be stored in a Controlled Drugs cupboard or equivalent
  19. why methadone should never be given in advance of receipt of a prescription
  20. how to check a prescriptions authenticity
  21. when to accept a prescription that is not hand written
  22. how to confirm the identity of an individual
  23. how to develop a contract for methadone administration and what it should contain
  24. how to provide information for individuals in a manner and pace suited to their needs and abilities.

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:
  1. ensure that the individual’s confidentiality is maintained at all times
  2. check the individual’s details on the prescription and confirm that they are clear and correct
  3. give the appropriate information to the individual
  4. carry out all transactions promptly and correctly
  5. ensure that the declaration on the prescription is completed by the individual, when applicable in accordance with government requirements
  6. forward the prescription for validation and preparation.
  7. check the prescription is correctly written in respect of meeting BNF, hospital and local formulary requirements
  8. confirm that the prescriptions are appropriate for the individual
  9. refer the prescriptions to the appropriate authority if you are unsure about any aspect, you must make the appropriate annotation on the prescription
  10. make all referrals in a courteous manner
  11. confirm that prescriptions are valid and are not a forgery.
  12. ensure that the medicine or product matches the prescription
  13. ensure that the medicine or product will remain in date for the course of treatment (as stated on the prescription) or take the appropriate action
  14. prepare the medicine or product using the correct equipment and process
  15. label the medicine or product correctly, checking it against the prescription
  16. ensure that the medicine or product is packed appropriately
  17. endorse the prescription appropriately
  18. complete all relevant records legibly and accurately
  19. follow the health, hygiene and safety procedures
  20. forward the prescription for checking.

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB7 Interventions and treatments

This standard has replaced HSC424.
AH9 Supervise methadone consumption
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk