The government is under pressure to go further on measures to relax rules on powerful painkillers such as morphine to prevent patients suffering “unnecessary pain and distress in the last days of their lives”.
On Tuesday the health secretary, Matt Hancock, announced staff in care homes and hospices would be allowed to “re-use” controlled drugs such as morphine and midazolam, with medication prescribed for one patient used for another where there is an immediate need.
But the Home Office today confirmed to The Independent that it had no plans to extend the rules to the care of patients in their own homes – a restriction experts and charities have warned could leave people suffering at the end of their lives.
The government announced the changes following concerns over the supply of drugs. Controlled drug rules were extended to commonly used painkillers after serial killer GP Harold Shipman was able to divert drugs he used to murder patients for years without detection.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) welcomed the changes announced by Mr Hancock, calling them “a significant step forward”, but added: “This only applies to patients living in care home and hospice settings, so there is still work to be done to ensure patients living in their own homes have appropriate access to necessary medication in a timely way.”
Read more: April 2020: Health Secretary Hancock allowed stockpiled midazolam ‘life-ending’ drug to be reused on elderly, with medication prescribed for one patient, simply used for another, while old people died in their droves from what was CALLED ‘Covid-19’ and constituted the alleged ‘Covid first wave’