§ Mr. Cyril Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will take steps to end the practice of prescribing drugs by telephone in NHS hospitals.
§ Dr. Owen
The guidance the Department has given to health authorities already makes clear that drugs should not be administered without a written prescription, save in exceptional circumstances. It is accepted that in a real emergency it may be necessary for a doctor to give instructions by telephone for the administration of a drug. But in these circumstances the administration of the drug should be recorded in the treat-230W ment sheet immediately, and the doctor should certify it within 24 hours.