P_CS_37 Transcription of Medicines in Exceptional Circumstances

Policy to support the transcription of medicines in exceptional circumstances incorporating medicine reconciliation within a community hospital setting.

Medication errors have the potential to cause harm to hospital inpatients, and hence present a serious clinical and financial risk to healthcare organisations.


Describes the action of transposing (copying) details of a doctor's/nurse independent prescriber's prescription onto other order forms. Specifically this can be used to facilitate the transition from Secondary to Primary Care or to enable new medicine record cards to be written when old ones are full without the prescriber having to be involved. Transcribing is a voluntary activity which can only be undertaken by practitioners as outlined in Section 3 and must be undertaken as part of a holistic patient assessment.

Medicines Reconciliation

Is a process designed to ensure that all medication a patient is currently taking is correctly documented on admission and at each transfer of care.

Aims & Objectives


The NMC states that as a registrant you may transcribe medication from one "direction to supply or administer" to another form of "direction to supply or administer". However, they go on to say that this is only to be undertaken in exceptional circumstances and should not be routine practice.

The aim of this policy is to provide staff with a working framework to support the practice of transcription in those circumstances.

This policy will also address the recommendations of NICE/NPSA/2007/PSG001 Technical Patient Safety Solutions for Medicines Reconciliation on Admission of Adults to Hospital.


The objective of this policy is to provide a framework and standards to ensure that risk is minimised to both patients and staff when the need for transcription and/or medicines reconciliation arises.

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