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Prescription Security - How Secure is your Practice?

Lost or Stolen Prescriptions

If prescriptions are lost or stolen, please email the attached form to    

And colleagues at CSU will liaise with you regarding the issue of an alert.  You should also send a copy of your completed report form to NHS Protect at

The CSU will issue an Alert on behalf of NHS England – South (Wessex) to appropriate contacts in the relevant area(s).

Information on prescription security has been published by NHS Protect and the guidance document (updated in August 2015) can be found at:

There are two useful aid memoires that summarise the responsibilities for prescribers and practice managers.


Practice managers:

The CQC has also published a myth buster covering security of blank computer prescription forms:

Prescription Printers

Q: Prescriptions in printers – a number of practices have been told that they must remove the prescriptions at night even though the individual doors are locked and the contract cleaners have all been DBS checked and assurance/evidence given by their employer. The scripts are all numbered and signed out to each of the GPs surgeries, to remove them every night could cause some mix-ups and seems a bit unnecessary especially when in a few cases there is nowhere more secure to put them.  One practice said their safe isn’t big enough so it would be just another locked room.

Response from Joanne Ward, Inspection Manager for the Wessex Team South Region at CQC

A. The room where the printer is held often the  consulting room, needs to be lockable  and that lock applied when the room is vacated even for short periods.  Tracking the use of the prescriptions is also needed to ensure prescription fraud is not taking place. Where there is concern about access to the room this is normally managed by risk assessment and if any doubt after a risk assessment some  practices do empty printers to a lockable cupboard. This must be clear in their policy. Cleaners can and do have access and this should be risk assessed and checked before having access to that room.

Email to all GPs and Practice Managers in Wessex

This briefing has been put together by the LMC with input from the NHS Counter Fraud Team in order to provide practices with some advice and guidance on how best they can protect themselves from prescription fraud.
Please click here for Prescription Security Model Forms

In 2007/08, it was estimated that NHS lost around £15m to prescription theft and forgery;


It’s a busy Monday morning, if a person posing as a patient walked into one of your consulting rooms would they be able to find a prescription pad and remove it?

Do all your GPs secure prescription pads when they are not in their room?

A patient has stolen a prescription pad from Dr Smith’s consulting room. Would Dr Smith know this has happened? If so, would he be able to quote the prescription identification number? Does the practice have a system of recording these numbers? 

The following recommendations are intended to provide advice on addressing areas where your practice may be most vulnerable to prescription fraud.

 Prescription Stationary Stock Control:

Home Visits:

Best Practice:

Locum GPs:


The LMC would suggest all Practices review their procedures. 
The following checklist may be helpful:

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Updated on 09 August 2016 3368 views