Reporting requirements for controlled drugs during COVID-19 recovery phase

Dear colleagues,

Reporting requirements for controlled drugs during COVID-19 recovery phase.

Thank you for all the hard work you are doing during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that patients remain safe and the public protected.

During the initial COVID-19 response several changes to the normal processes regarding controlled drugs was notified to you. As we are now in the restoration and recovery phase, we have reviewed those changes and are notifying you of some amendments to that notification.
Occurrence Reports (Applicable to Designated Bodies only).

In April the requirement for the submission of Occurrence Reports was stood down. All designated and non-designated bodies were required only to report incidents or concerns that were considered “extremely serious” or to have had a “catastrophic” outcome.

For the avoidance of doubt, we clarified that serious patient harm or death and any theft or significant loss, especially where misappropriation by a Healthcare Professional, would meet the above definition.

Thank you to the designated bodies that submitted a Quarter Four controlled drug occurrence report and/or submitted incident reports, with what were considered “extremely serious” incidents or those which had a “catastrophic” outcome, directly onto the online CD reporting tool.

• Quarter One Occurrence Reports (for the period 1st April 2020 – 30th June 2020)

Medical Directorate
NHS London Region
Wellington House (2nd floor)
133-155 Waterloo Road
0203 978 3507
30 July 2020
Direct Dial:
29 June 2020

Please can all designated bodies required to submit a controlled drug Occurrence Report ensure that the Quarter One report for the period 1st April 2020 – 30th June 2020 is submitted by 28th August 2020 using the online CD reporting tool ( If any organisation is likely to have a problem with this please let me know.

Reporting Incidents and Concerns (Non-Designated Bodies)

All non-designated bodies e.g. GP practices, Community Pharmacies, drug and alcohol services are reminded that all CD incidents or concerns should now be reported directly onto the online CD reporting tool in a timely manner.

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online reporting tool please contact a member of the controlled drugs team who will be able to assist you.

Healthcare professionals should report all complaints, concerns or untoward incidents involving controlled drugs to the CDAO.

Authorised Persons to witness the destruction of obsolete Schedule 2 controlled drugs

In designated bodies you should continue to follow your organisations’ process.

In primary care we will continue to process applications through our usual processes. These should be submitted by email to . Applications may take longer to process than normal.

Please note out of date and/or obsolete Schedule 3 CDs and patient returns can be destroyed without an Authorised Person to witness this. These destructions should take place in accordance with your local policies and procedures.

Pharmacy “multiples” (Corporate Bodies) that have authorised persons within their establishment should continue to follow their established processes. We will continue to support new applications and renewals.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Carson
Interim Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer & Medication Safety Officer | Lead Pharmacy Adviser
NHS England and NHS Improvement