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PHARM09.2016 Assemble prescribed items


This standard covers the activities to be carried out when you are assembling prescribed items and undertaking the in-process accuracy check against prescriptions received for individuals. This involves ensuring that the correct item is assembled against a valid prescription and errors in dispensing are reduced. It emphasises the need to work accurately and neatly, using the correct equipment and within the constraints of your occupational role. Your practice will be consistent with your occupational role and carried out under the regulatory, professional and ethical frameworks established in the context of current legislation. You will need to take a reflective approach to your work. You will work at all times within Standard Operating Procedures that relate to the way in which a pharmacy service is provided in your work place. A caring and compassionate approach should be adopted in line with current healthcare guidance. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version No 2

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:
  1. the Standard Operating Procedures and the importance of adhering to them at all times
  2. the importance of working within the limits of your competence and authority, when to seek agreement or permission from others and when to refer on to an appropriate person
  3. current health and safety legislation and how it applies to the working environment
  4. legal, organisational and policy requirements relevant to your role, the role of others in your organisation and the activities being carried out
  5. the relevant national and local guidelines, policies and procedures that are available and how and when they should be accessed
  6. the importance of adhering to information governance policies and maintaining confidentiality when sharing information about individuals with others
  7. the duty to report any acts or omissions that could be detrimental to individuals, yourself, colleagues or your employer
  8. the importance of personal hygiene and correct use of protective clothing
  9. the importance of maintaining a clean working environment and equipment
  10. factors which cause deterioration of stock
  11. sources of contamination and appropriate corrective action
  12. the prescribing conventions, abbreviations and medical terminology
  13. the proprietary and generic names of medicines within your scope of practice
  14. how medicines are administered
  15. different strengths, forms, doses and quantities of medicines, and why they are used and how to calculate them
  16. the different stages of the checking procedure
  17. how to identify near misses and dispensing errors
  18. the causes and consequences of near misses and dispensing errors
  19. local and/or national error reporting procedures and communication channels
  20. the importance of selecting the correct equipment for use
  21. the properties of different types of container types and when to use each
  22. the safe handling and storage of hazardous material and procedures to minimise risk
  23. processes for reconstitution
  24. labelling requirements and conventions
  25. when and why patient medication records are used
  26. the importance of recording, storing and retrieving information in accordance with organisational procedures

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:
  1. work within the relevant Standard Operating Procedures including the relevant health and safety procedures and within your own limits of competence
  2. confirm that the preparation area and equipment are clean and maintained ready for use
  3. complete the correct documentation in line with Standard Operating Procedures
  4. select the medicine or product and confirm that it matches the prescription/request including strength and form, and is fit for purpose
  5. take the appropriate action where there are inconsistencies with the medicine or product
  6. prepare the medicine or product using the correct equipment, processes and appropriate calculations if necessary
  7. assemble prescribed items according to the correct instructions and reconstitute items as required
  8. ensure the generated label is correct and label the item, checking it against the prescription/request
  9. perform an assembly check that all prescribed items have been assembled according to instructions:
    1. check that the correct item has been assembled in the correct form and correct strength
    2. check that the correct quantity has been assembled or arrangements for further future supply made as indicated on the prescription/request
    3. check that the label on the item matches the assembled product and the prescription/request requirements including the form and strength
    4. check that the assembled items are fit for purpose
    5. check appropriate packaging has been used
    6. check appropriate selection of medicine devices/sundry items and relevant information to accompany the medicine or product
  10. if any assembly errors are identified, rectify in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
  11. annotate and endorse prescription/request in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
  12. forward the prescription/request and assembled items for final accuracy checking as identified in the Standard Operating Procedures
  13. complete all relevant documentation and store appropriately in accordance with legal and organisational requirements

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health. This standard has been merged with PHARM27. This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB10 Products to meet health and wellbeing needs
PHARM09.2016 Assemble prescribed items
Final version approved February 2016 © copyright Skills For Health,
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