Terms of Reference

NHSlogo.gifPharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group    Founded 1992


1. Purpose:

    1. To act as an expert and informed body on aseptic preparation; to promote good practice, to identify and resolve problems, to maximise the effectiveness and development of services, and to address all issues pertaining to this objective.
    2. To act as a consultative resource for all matters relating to the aseptic preparation of injectable medication and other products.
    3. To support NHS Trusts to ensure patients have access to safe injectable medicines, and equitable access to safe and effective pharmacy aseptic services.

2. Principal Functions & Objectives

    1. To act as a nationally acknowledged expert group and communications network for the provision of advice on issues pertaining to aseptic preparation of injectable medication (including cytotoxics, parenteral nutrition) and all other  aseptically prepared products.
    2. To maintain effective links between the NHS PASG and local aseptic networking groups in order to disseminate information both to and from these local groups. In particular, this will enable awareness to be raised nationally about local issues and projects under development.
    3. To evaluate, endorse and disseminate appropriate standards of best practice relating to medicines assurance, medication & patient safety and medicines optimisation within pharmacy aseptic services. Plus promote the efficient use of resources used in these services.
    4. To compile such resource and management documents as necessary to promote best practice.
    5. To develop appropriate relationships and communication with: the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Departments of Health, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS),  NHS England, Scotland, Wales and NI, the NHS Pharmaceutical Production Committee, UK Radiopharmacy Group, the NHS Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee, NHS Technical Specialist Education and Training (TSET) , British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA), British Pharmaceutical Nutrition Group (BPNG) and the pharmaceutical industry, to facilitate developments and initiatives of benefit to patients and hospital pharmacy aseptic services.
    6. To provide a forum for the exchange of views, ideas, information and advice of special interest in the field of aseptic preparation services.
    7. To provide, support and encourage opportunities for education and training in issues relevant to the speciality.  
    8. To monitor, interpret and contribute to the development of relevant guidance or legislation, and to disseminate such information to interested parties.
    9. To promote research and development in areas of need and to monitor and report on these activities.
    10. To enable and encourage cooperative working.

3. Minutes and Records

3.1 Minutes of meetings shall be taken and circulated to appropriate contacts in the following groups:

      1. NHS Pharmaceutical Production Committee
      2. NHS Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee
      3. UK Radiopharmacy Group
      4. NHS  Technical Services Education & Training (TSET)
      5. R&D Group
      6. Local Aseptic Services network groups (via committee members to their local groups)
      7. Specialist Pharmacy Services Board and equivalent (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)
    1. This is undertaken to promote communication and develop relationships.

4. Membership

    1. Membership of the NHS Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group will be by requested nomination only.
    2. Members (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians or other specialist staff) will be nominated to ensure national representation, and where appropriate, will have been nominated by their local Aseptic Services network group. Specifically, the NHS PASG will consist of at least one, and preferably two, members from the following geographical areas:
      1. North East
      2. North West
      3. West Midlands
      4. South East Coast
      5. South West
      6. East of England
      7. East Midlands
      8. London
      9. South Central
      10. Yorkshire and Humber
      11. together with one representative each from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    3. Members will also be nominated by and represent the NHS Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee, R&D Group, NHS Pharmaceutical Production Committee and TSET on the  PASG Committee.
    4. Members will reflect and be drawn from the following categories:
      1. Hospital Pharmacy staff with practical expertise in aseptic preparation services.  This should include representatives from both licensed and unlicensed units, and those with specialist interests such as paediatrics and clinical trials.
      2. Quality Assurance Pharmacy staff with active responsibility for aseptic preparation services.
      3. Up to two representatives from each of the following committees:
        1. NHS Pharmaceutical Production Committee;
        1. UK Radiopharmacy Group;
        2. NHS Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee (PQAC);
        3. NHS Technical Services Education & Training (TSET);
        4. Research & Development group (a sub-group of PASG, NHS PQAC and the Production Committee)
        5. In addition, representatives of academia and other bodies with an interest or expertise in aseptic services may be appointed by invitation of the Group e.g. Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Procurement Specialists, Clinical Trials Advisory Group (this list is not exhaustive).

5. Conduct and Management of the Group:

    1. A nominated Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, known as the Officers, shall administer the affairs of the NHS Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group.
    2. Officers will be elected for 2 year terms of office, and may be re-elected for further terms of office.
      1. The Vice Chair will serve a period as Vice Chair, followed by a period as Chair and a further period as Vice Chair.
    3. The officers are appointed from within the membership of the group, and confirmed by the group. Details of the proposer & seconder of each nominee, and the result of each election will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting where the election is held.
    4. Where an election is required for officers the nominees will be asked to leave the room and a show of hands taken for each nominee from the remaining members. The nominee with the most votes will be elected. In the case of a draw the chair will have the casting vote.
    5. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, other officer of the group or a member with a special interest , will represent the NHS PASG at other meetings and consultations where PASG has been invited to attend or send representation.
    6. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, other officer of the group will represent PASG at SPS Operational Group meetings.
    7. Meetings will be held four times a year.
    8. A minimum of 10 members must be present for a meeting to be quorate. If less than 10 members are present the meeting may continue but decisions must be deferred to a quorate meeting.
    9. Where a conflict of interest may arise, members must declare their interest and be prepared to withdraw from the meeting of the NHS Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group when items of sensitivity are discussed, on the advice of the chairman (e.g. when commercial products or services, or related issues are raised).

6. Finance

    1. The NHS PASG Treasurer will manage the Group’s financial affairs. A bank account is held in the name of NHS Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group and is administered by the treasurer. This account requires two signatures from the officers of the Group namely the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer on any correspondence or cheque. A balance sheet is held for each financial year and is updated whenever a transaction occurs. At financial year end, this balance sheet must be presented at the next group meeting and will be scrutinised by the group before being verified as correct by the Chairman who holds ultimate responsibility for the Group’s business affairs. This will be recorded in the meeting minutes.
    2. Any monies generated by the activities of the group are deemed to be held ‘in trust’ on behalf of the NHS. In the event of the closure of the group any monies will be distributed to the appropriate NHS body.
    3. The treasurer will be responsible for drawing up any business plans required for the financial affairs of the Group.

7. Strategy:

The NHS Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group shall achieve its purpose by the following:

    1. National Meetings organised periodically to address topical issues, disseminate information and to educate. Specific aims for national meetings are:
      1. To provide a forum for the exchange of views and information.
      2. To identify and disseminate examples of best practice.
      3. To increase awareness of relevant standards, legislation and topical issues.
      4. To provide education and training according to identified needs.

NHS PASG in collaboration with the NHS Pharmaceutical QA Committee will be actively involved in organising the NHS QA & Technical Services Symposium. The NHS PQA committee is the parent committee for the symposium, and NHS PASG will nominate members to represent it on the symposium organising committee.

    1. Publications e.g. CIVAS Handbook, and by contributing to the Quality Assurance of Aseptic Preparation Services standards book.
    2. Collaboration and two-way communication with local aseptic services network groups. Discussion should be lead and stimulated by PASG committee members at their local meetings.
    3. Development and maintenance of a website, and internet/email   based newsgroup/discussion forum.
    4. Other publications - produced to meet specified requests and needs, including:
      1. Special topics of relevance and current interest.
      2. Position statements on particular areas of practice.
      3. Articles for the pharmaceutical press.
    5. Questionnaires / Surveys:
      1. Periodic assessment of current practices
      2. Surveys of needs / research / education.


8. Officers:


Vice Chairman



Richard Needle 1992 - 2006

David Lovett

2007- 2014

Richard Needle 1996 - 2006 with Tim Sizer 1996 -2006

Jeff Koundakjian 1993-2001

Peter Rhodes

2006 - 2014

Peter Rhodes

2014 - 2015

Lyndsay Raine

2006 - 2010

Lyndsay Raine

2002 - 2007

David Lovett

2014 -

John Landers

2015 – 2018

Mary Taylor

2010- 2011

Charlotte Gibb 2007- 2012

John Landers


David Lovett

2018 - 2018

Fiona Rowling

2011 - 2018

Sue Renn

2012 -

Oonagh McGrath

2018 - 2022

John Horncastle

2018- 2022


Nicky Stringer

2022 -


Document History

Discussion document originally drawn up on 25 March 1996: Tim Sizer

2nd Draft prepared 13 December 1996: NCIVASG  Approved June 1997

Revised June 1999, June 2002, Dec 2003, June 2005, June 2006, April 2010, February 2015, April 2017, Nov 2018, Jun 2019, November 2019

Review date –November 2021 or earlier as required