Discounts available for early bookings on “2020” CDAO courses

Controlled drugs spilled on desk


Sancus have started scheduling their CDAO training dates for the spring of 2020 and have announced discounts for early bookings on the Liverpool two day course and London two day and London one day refresher courses. We’ve made it easy to obtain your discounts by simply cutting and pasting the discounts code at the checkouts when booking your course. And the good news is that they can be used on all your places.

The codes are 

  • Liverpool CDAO Course – SaveJan2020
  • London CDAO Courses – SaveMarch2020

For more information and to book your place follow this link CDAO Courses 2020





CDAO Feedback March

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Last week, Sancus delivered its “Controlled Drug Accountable Officer” training in York. This was our two-day comprehensive public course designed to enable Accountable Officers and those supporting them to develop confidence in their roles and responsibilities.

It’s one of our most popular courses and we’ve had some great feedback from the delegates and in particular for our trainers Gail and Graham…


“The course has certainly given me food for thought about the enormity of the role and the resources and board level knowledge required. I have a very large to do list. The facilitators where good, mixing real life with theory and I certainly enjoyed joint discussions with other colleagues.”


“I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the course. The time flew by and both Gail and Graham were excellent facilitators. The course delivery was varied and interesting with lots of interaction. I came away with several actions and ideas to progress having completed the course. Thank you.”


“Have just completed the Sancus Accountable Officer course. It is absolutely one of the best courses in my career I have attended. Fabulous content and presentation. Would highly recommend.”


“Friendly, knowledgeable trainers, who used multiple presentation techniques to meet all learning styles Excellent use of scenarios and group participation with regular summary and checks on learning and understanding Relaxed teaching style, approaching a serious subject in a well-prepared, logical and supportive manner. Good to have trainers who show their own personality and share their experiences. I usually ‘zone out’ when sitting in a class all day but was kept fully engaged throughout this course Highly Recommended Thank you to Gail and Graham.”

We always welcome feedback in any form, to have a chance to influence your training take the survey. CDAO Survey

We look forward to meeting the next group of delegates on our next public course in London on the 24th April.




CDAO Lead Trainer Awarded FFRPS

Congratulations to Gail Curphey who has just been recognised as a Fellow of the Faculty of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society – FFRPS. Gail is the Pharmacist Lead for the Sancus Controlled Drug Accountable Officer (CDAO) Training course and we are all immensely proud of her achievement and the recognition she has received for her work.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty is the first professional recognition programme for pharmacists across all sectors of practice and the assessment process identifies and recognises the knowledge, skills and experience individuals have gained during their careers. Faculty membership demonstrates to non-pharmacist colleagues the skills and experience Gail brings to our team.

Gail has achieved Fellowship status as a result of demonstrating her skills at the “Mastery level*”.

*Mastery – Aligned to recognised leader in community or primary care; Consultant and corporate level practice in NHS; equivalent leads in academia; business/corporate leadership roles in industry; business or strategic leader in community. Recognised as a leader in an area of expertise (nationally often internationally), alongside a breadth of experience.

Changes to NHS Protect Support

In response to the document “Changes to NHS Protect Support”  CDAOs should identify how this will affect their investigative work and what arrangements they should put in place as a result of these changes to support them with any CD related fraud issues they come across.

Gail Curphy – Sancus solutions

Click on this link for the full report NHS Protect – organisational update


Updated Guidance For appointing Accountable Officers to a CCG

NHS England has published updated guidance for CCGs to use when recruiting to senior appointments including their accountable officer post.

This document supersedes guidance published in October 2015 and outlines the process for CCGs when recruiting and selecting their leadership team. For further information about CCG governance please visit the NHS England website or email



CDAO Refresher Training

We’re pleased to announce that we are presenting a one day CDAO refresher training course in Birmingham.

We’ve had a lot of interest already so if you want to attend please don’t delay

CDAO One Day Refresher Training

Tuesday 27th July 2017
Venue – The Studio, 7 Cannon St. Birmingham B2 5EP
Cost per delegate £295+vat **
Discounts available for charity organisations (10%) and returning customers (5%) – contact us for details
**All delegates must have previously completed the Sancus Two Day CDAO Training Course **

Accountable Officer Training


National Healthcare Conference

Gail Curphey, Sancus’ lead CDAO trainer, spoke at the National Healthcare Conference in London at the end of September.


Here, Gail kindly tells us about the key areas she covered in her talk.


I was asked to cover issues with regards to moving into the role of Controlled Drug Accountable Officer and felt that this could be broken down into 3 main areas.

  • Developing yourself
  • Developing your team
  • Developing your organisation.  
Developing yourself really involves understanding and acknowledging the importance of the role and the skills/knowledge set required. You do not need to be an expert in every field but you do have to have an understanding of the responsibilities you hold and how you can get help and support. I often find that people are put in the position of AO whilst already having a full time position and it is necessary for the Board of your organisation to provide resources to facilitate your implementation of policies/audits/investigations as they arise. This is the bit where people often fall about laughing! 
Resources are vital and these are best provided in the form of a “team”, either real or virtual. “Real” because you will need to ensure regular CD audits/reviews of SOPs etc are undertaken within your organisation but also you will need access to an investigative interviewer should any incidents occur. This is often an element of which people are unaware and where Sancus can help. “Virtual”, because there are a lot of people available to support you outside of your organisation such as the LIN members, GPhC Pharmacy Inspectors, Police Controlled Drug Liaison Officers, NHS Protect etc. Our 2 day AO course covers all of these elements along with investigative interviewing/managing incidents/Court room procedures etc and whilst you would hope these latter skills will not be needed often, when a serious incident does occur, they are crucial. Having skilled/trained staff available when required is paramount. 
Lastly – developing your organisation. It is often the case that the Board of the Organisation for whom you are the “statutory CDAO” has very little understanding of why you are actually there and the potential implications of untoward CD incidents. Corporate manslaughter, Gross Negligence Manslaughter, Health and Safety are all covered in our Sancus training programme. At the other end of the spectrum, how do you keep those at the coal face updated on their roles and responsibilities where CD issues are concerned? 
If however you think you have it all covered, how about re-assuring yourself by commissioning a Sancus Pre CQC CD inspection audit, just to check all is well?


Gail has been asked to speak again at a follow up National Healthcare Conference on CDAO issues on

Monday, 16 January 2017 – De Vere W1 Conference Centre, London


If you’re interested you can book here, Healthcare Conferences – CDAO and for a 20% discount

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Sancus can help – NICE Guideline [NG46]

NICE have just published Guideline NG46 – Controlled Drugs: Safe Use and Management (April 2016)

Since the Shipman Inquiry’s Fourth Report in 2004, the government have introduced significant legislative changes to the Act to strengthen the governance arrangements for controlled drugs. Arrangements have been established to encourage good practice in the management of controlled drugs, as well as helping to detect unusual or poor clinical practice, criminal activity or risk to patients. Organisations must be able to demonstrate that their systems and processes allow controlled drugs to be managed and used safely, while helping to ensure appropriate and convenient access for those people who need treatment. Ongoing activity and vigilance is needed to sustain the positive developments that have been achieved.

This NICE guidance provides further clarity and good practice recommendations for the safe use and management of controlled drugs across all types of  settings. There is no single model for the effective implementation of NICE guidance, but one thing is for sure – you will need some manpower! This is where Sancus can help. Different organisations will implement NICE guidance in different ways, however what we do know is that changes should be implemented as soon as possible and that putting recommendations into practice can take time.

As a starter this Guidance recommends that you carry out a baseline assessment against the recommendations to identify whether there are any gaps in current service provision and then develop an action plan. Using our experienced pharmacists Sancus can carry out this work for you. Your work is then half done!

Some organisations may wish to follow our advice in its entirety, but others may wish to just adapt what Sancus suggest or incorporate parts of it into local improvement models.  We can work with you, to your agenda thus ensuring that you are implementing the NICE guidance and its related quality standards to help meet your legal requirements and those set out in the NHS Constitution and the Health and Social Care Act 2012(section 8).

In an increasingly diversified and competitive environment, health and social care providers need to be able to quickly and easily demonstrate how their organisation is performing and that their focus is on increasing quality. You need to be open and transparent with commissioners and service users about how safe and clinically/cost effective your services are. One way of doing this is to use relevant NICE guidance and quality standards to show where high-quality care is being provided and highlight areas for improvement.

Don’t delay…..Sancus are here to help!

Gail Curphy BSc, MRPharmS, Dip Presc.Sci (Sancus CDAO lead trainer and pharmacist)

CDAO – Safe Use And Management (April 2016)

NICE Guideline [NG46] 

This guideline covers systems and processes for using and managing controlled drugs safely in all NHS settings except care homes. It aims to improve working practices to comply with legislation and have robust governance arrangements. It also aims to reduce the safety risks associated with controlled drugs.

Who is it for? Health professionals providing care for people being treated with controlled drugs, social care practitioners, commissioners of services using controlled drugs, providers of services where controlled drugs are used and people being treated with controlled drugs, their families or carers, and the public.

You can download your copy here – Controlled drugs: safe use and management (April 2016)