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 »
By Jonathan Simms, Clinical Director of Pharmacy, Aneurin Bevan Health Board
Aneurin Bevan Health Board launched a campaign at the end of January this year as part of an initiative to raise awareness of medicine waste, how medicines are wasted and the part that patients and the public can play in helping to reduce this waste.
Medicines play an important part in promoting well-being, preventing ill-health and managing disease. However, few of us think about the medicines that we waste, how they are disposed of, or how much they cost. Read more »
By Neal Patel, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Head of Corporate Communications
Throwing away medicines rather than using them as intended is a huge problem.
At time when the NHS is having to find £20 billion pounds worth of savings it’s absolutely right that we should all focus on areas on efficiency which feel like (financial) gain with very little, (service loss) pain.
The York Health Economics Consortium, and The School of Pharmacy, University of London, founds that in England in 2009 NHS primary and community care prescription medicines waste cost £300 million.
That is a lot of hip operations. Read more »