By Heidi Wright, RPS Policy and Practice Lead
Taking a medicine is the most frequent method that patients use to improve their health. In particular, older people and those with long term conditions rely heavily on medicines as a way of managing their illnesses. These patients, often with strict and complicated medication regimes, are some of the most vulnerable to problems with their medicines when they transfer care settings. Whether it’s from care homes to hospitals, or mental health hospitals to home, these are times when the risk of medication errors tends to increase.
In fact, research shows that around 60% of patients have 3 or more medicines changed during their hospital stay, 20% experience side-effects after having their medicines changed and almost half of all patients experience an error with their medicines after they are discharged from hospital. Read more How can we improve transfer of medicines information?