MTW NHS Trust West Kent CCG

Drug Status Key

  • Preferred
  • Second Line
  • Third Line
  • Specialist Initiation
  • Hospital Only
  • Not Approved for Formulary

Controlled Drugs Prescription Requirements

To avoid unnecessary delay in dispensing controlled drugs for TTO (To Take Out medication) and outpatient prescriptions, the prescriptions must comply with legal prescribing requirements.

The prescription must be written so as to be indelible and include the following:

  • Patient’s full name, home address and/or hospital number, NHS number (where available) and where appropriate the age
  • Drug name
  • Strength of the drug (where appropriate)
  • Drug form (even if only one form exists) e.g. tablets
  • Dose and frequency
  • Total quantity of drug. This should be written for dosage units (tablets, capsules, ampoules) as the total number (in both words and figures) of dosage units to be supplied (e.g. 10 tablets [of 10 mg] rather than 100 mg total quantity). For liquids, the total volume in millilitres (in both words and figures) of the preparation to be supplied 
  • Date, signature and printed name of the prescriber
  • Contact number for the prescriber (clinic number/bleep number/mobile)

For example:

Morphine sulphate m/r 10mg capsules

10mg bd

Twenty-eight (28) capsules


For outpatient and discharge prescriptions:

  • When more than one strength of a preparation exists, the strength required must be specified.
  • Where multiple strengths of a medicine are required, each strength should be prescribed separately (i.e. separate dose, total quantity, etc.).
  • The dose must be clearly defined (i.e. the instruction ‘one as directed’ constitutes a dose but ‘as directed’ does not).
  • The prescription is only valid for a maximum of 28 days from the date stated on the prescription. CD prescriptions not presented for dispensing within the valid period cannot be dispensed and a new prescription will be required.
  • Best practice recommends up to a maximum of 30 days’ supply should be prescribed.