"Injectable morphine"

About: Surrey PCT / District nursing

(as a relative),

My late husband was prescribed injectable morphine, to be kept in his home in case of need, when the District Nurse would attend to inject it. The Nurse told me to collect it from our local Surgery when they rang to say it was there. This I did, waiting for around 15 minutes while two of the Surgery's staff checked the bag's contents, re-checked and then ticked boxes on many sheets of paper. I took it home in its (unsealed) bag and the next time the District Nurse came she too checked, re-checked and ticked more boxes (seeing this all this careful checking I was so glad I, an 80-year old, hadn't been hijacked by drug addicts on my way home from the Surgery ...).

Sadly my husband died a fortnight ago, but fortunately without needing to use this injectable morphine. Of course, the ever-overworked District Nurses were not seen again, so I rang their local contact number to find out when they would remove the bag of morphine - to be told that they "weren't allowed to carry it"! My local surgery said they "weren't allowed to take it back" and they'd heard that I would have to take it into my local town of Dorking and "find a chemist who would take it".

I'm afraid I didn't do quite that, as I was getting extremely angry by this time. Instead I took it to the building where the District Nurses are based, which has a pharmacy on the ground floor, and passed it over the counter. The assistant started to say they couldn't take it, when I'm afraid I interrupted to say that if they didn't take it I would personally put the bag in the middle of the town on a Saturday night and just hope the local addicts (if there are any) would find it. They took the bag.

But I would be very glad to know just who makes rules like this? Surely not HSE, as what is there to stop me (or any family member or visitor) removing some or all the contents of the unsealed bag which no one had ever told me to keep securely? And how, if it is a law, do they police it when I could have given the bag to anyone to "carry it" or even cause its disappearance?

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