Oral Chemotherapy Competency Guide

Introduction

This competency guide has been developed in response to the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group (NCAG) 2009 Report along with the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) Rapid Response Report, risks of incorrect dosing of oral anti-cancer medicines, January 2008.

A key recommendation:

The NCAG 2009 report recommends that, "Prescribing, prescription verification and dispensing of chemotherapy should only be undertaken by appropriately trained staff. All chemotherapy services should maintain up to date lists of staff that are designated to prescribe (either first or subsequent cycles), check prescriptions and dispense chemotherapy. Protocols should be agreed across a Cancer Network, incorporated into a protocol book (actual or web-based) and updated at least annually".

The competencies within this guide have been assembled to action the above recommendation. The competencies have been taken from both the Skills for Health National Occupational Standards (www.skillsforhealth.org.uk) and the Standards for Clinical Pharmacy Verification of Prescriptions for Cancer Medicines, developed by the British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA). The National Occupational Standard (SKF PHARM 56) 'verifying prescription for chemotherapy against a protocol' has been combined with the BOPA standards.

Please note: Individuals who have included Chemotherapy as a speciality as part of their successful completion of the Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician Accreditation are not required to complete both sets of final checking competencies.

Link to the guide South West Competency Guide to the Dispensing and Checking of Oral Chemotherapy

For further information contact: Mary Carter mary.carter1@nhs.net (0117 3423487)