Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

27th December 2016

Do I have to date creams?

Hello Sheila. Is not dating when creams and eye drops are opened a medication error?


Dear Barbara,


This is a very important question.


The pharmacist should date the cream or eye drops on the date he/she dispensed the cream or eye drops.


As you say the cream, lotion or eye drops should also be dated when they are used for the first time and in a care home this information should be part of a regular audit trail.


Failure to do this would be seen to be a medication error and I have seen this error reported in many inspection reports.


There should be a clear understanding in the care home of the length of time the cream, lotion or eye drops can be used for. For eye drops it is normally one month although I would always advocate asking the pharmacist.


Best wishes.





*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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