HC Deb 11 February 1976 vol 905 cc229-30W
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- ment sheet immediately, and the doctor should certify it within 24 hours.