Keeping Dangerous Drugs under Lock and Key

We all know that Dangerous Drugs need to be locked away when not in use, and that we need to keep proper records of what’s been bought, and what’s been used, but how many of us are using lockable storage that’s really fit for purpose? In the past, many practices used as their Dangerous Drugs Cupboard either a small wall-mounted safe, or a lockable household medicines cabinet – neither ideal for use in a busy veterinary practice – and we may even have left the key in the door (hopefully turned to the ‘lock’ position) during working hours.

Lots of issues there. Firstly wall-mounted safes aren’t really designed to hold medicines, and generally lead to problems fitting in everything that really needs to be locked up. Then, there’s the problem of where, and on which wall, the safe – or the medicine cabinet – should be situated. A wall-mounted unit can cut down on the space available for full-size shelving units; it may mean that shorter staff members have an undignified stretch to take items out of it; or its position may lead to tricky access for all, and potential banged heads for some members of the team. Finally, leaving the key in the lock means that everyone has access to the cabinet’s contents, going against the legal requirements for the safe custody of controlled drugs.

As an alternative to those makeshift lockable-storage solutions, Gratnells Veterinary storage solutions can supply you with a lockable trolley .Inside, the trolley has runners for trays and baskets, enabling you to keep all your most important medicines together in one place. The door is fastened by a five-point lock, which means it complies with the regulations surrounding the locking away of controlled drugs. All that needs to be done to make the lockable trolley completely compliant is to request that it is supplied without castors, and then it can be easily fixed to a suitable wall by two brackets, keeping the contents properly secured.

With such an extensive array of storage possibilities inside your lockable trolley, especially if the trays are enhanced by dividers of a size to fit your needs, you can find a suitable place for everything that needs to be locked up, as well as for the record book in which to note down purchase and usage as it happens, and there’s even room to store syringes and needles if you want to ensure that only the amount required is removed from the cupboard as and when it’s needed.

Of course, that’s not the only use for the lockable trolley. Perhaps you have expensive equipment that you don’t want to leave lying around just anywhere. In that case, it might be worth considering using a second lockable trolley, this time with the castors left on, so you can be 100% certain that you know where everything is and that it’s going to get safely to where it’s needed next.

What other uses can you think of for a lockable trolley? Have you come up with a different innovative storage solution? Send your storage tips to bestpractice@gratnellsveterinary.com and add to the knowledge contained in the Gold Standard on veterinary storage solutions.

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