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HRT 'increases the risk of stroke'

The Government has drawn up new guidelines on how GPs should carry medicines out-of-hours. The guidelines set out a minimum formulary of drugs GPs should carry with them and also stipulate an audit trail for controlled drugs.

PCTs will police the rules and take responsibility for equipping, stocking, monitoring and auditing of GPs' drug bags used out-of-hours.

The new rules are meant to ensure patients do not suffer delays with urgently needed medication, including emergency contraception, especially when pharmacies are closed.

GPs will be advised by PCTs to prescribe enough controlled drugs to cover the whole of each out-of-hours period. Other palliative care drugs could be provided in sealed packs for use on an as-needed basis.

GPs will need to detail date and time of administration, strength, presentation, form, batch number and expiry date of controlled drugs used.

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