Printing of access codes on pharmacy labels

Community Pharmacies will have recently received a memo from Ewan Maule, Head of Medicine Optimisation at Sunderland CCG regarding access codes for patients’ homes.

Please find below a copy of the information in the memo:

Memo: Printing of access codes on pharmacy labels


Circulation List:Community Pharmacies


Safeguarding concerns have been raised by carers and homecare agencies about the practice of printing access codes on pharmacy labels. These are either codes for key safes or security doors and are added to allow delivery drivers to gain access to the patient’s home.

The specific concern raised is that if a code is printed on a label then it opens up the opportunity for others to see it and thus presents a security risk, particularly if the label is then put in the bin outside the property.

Action for Community Pharmacies

Community pharmacies are requested to:

  • Identify where they have access codes recorded on their patient medication record (PMR)
  • Ensure these are not printed or transcribed on labels, including bag labels
  • Confirm with the patient that they are happy for the pharmacy to continue to record the access code
  • Utilise a safer alternative system for gaining access where required
    • One option is to retain the access code on the PMR and ask the delivery driver to ring the pharmacy when at the property

Prepared by:

Ewan Maule – Head of Medicines Optimisation