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PHARM14.2016 Maintain pharmaceutical stock


This standard covers the maintenance of pharmaceutical stock. It covers ensuring stock is in date, is stored appropriately, in a suitable condition and in sufficient quantities. It also includes the management of returned stock. 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 place of work. 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. current guidelines that apply to maintaining pharmaceutical stock
  9. the different forms of medicines and why it is important to stock appropriate quantities of the correct formulation and strength
  10. the action to take immediately when drug alerts and company recalls are received
  11. the importance of monitoring and maintaining a safe, secure and clean environment
  12. the storage requirements of different types of products and why they are important
  13. the importance of good stock management, including:
    1. the rotation of stock
    2. checking expiry dates of stock
    3. the quantity of stock, taking account of seasonal variations
    4. identifying damaged, contaminated or deteriorated stock
  14. the importance of taking appropriate action if stock is unavailable
  15. the action to be taken if stock:
    1. is short dated or expired
    2. is damaged or contaminated
    3. has a batch number for which drug alerts/recalls have been issued
    4. has been returned to the pharmacy
  16. the procedures for the safe handling and disposal of waste materials
  17. how automation is used to control stock
  18. how to ensure that stock levels are maintained to meet demand
  19. the input and retrieval of stock data to ensure levels are appropriate
  20. 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. follow procedures related to:
    1. maintenance of pharmaceutical stock
    2. disposal of waste stock
  3. carry out stock checks at regular intervals following agreed guidelines to ensure stocks remain:
    1. stored appropriately and in a suitable condition
    2. in sufficient quantity
    3. consistent with computerised records where appropriate
  4. take the appropriate action in respect of:
    1. problems with storage areas/conditions
    2. short dated, expired, damaged or redundant stock
    3. over-stock/under-stock
    4. returned stock
  5. ensure stock rotation occurs to reduce wastage
  6. act within the limits of your authority and refer any problems to an appropriate person
  7. 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 links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: G3 Procurement and Commissioning
PHARM14.2016 Maintain pharmaceutical stock
Final version approved February 2016 © copyright Skills For Health,
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