England

RPS responds to Secretary of State for Health’s plans to improve patient safety

Whilst the vast majority of prescriptions prescribed in the NHS are safe, it would be extremely worrying for patients that medication errors contribute to thousands of deaths a year.

Responding to the Secretary of State announcement today, Sandra Gidley, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board said:

“Whilst the vast majority of prescriptions prescribed in the NHS are safe, it would be extremely worrying for patients that medication errors contribute to thousands of deaths a year. It is essential that the Secretary of State and the health professions build a culture of transparency and openness. This will play a significant role in reducing medication errors.

This latest research underlines the importance of pharmacists having access to vital information from a patient's record to enhance safety. We now need to build on this by enabling pharmacists to update a clinical record with details of any treatment they provide.

Patients who move in and out of hospital and other settings are at high risk of medication errors as the right information about medicines is often not transferred with them. Pharmacists can and have been playing a vital role in reducing medication errors through transfer of patients between care settings. We strongly believe that every care home should have a named pharmacist dedicated to improving medicine safety.

Pharmacists can play a key role in supporting patients to reduce medicine errors, particularly working with GPs, to improve prescribing. Published research provides conclusive evidence that collaboration between pharmacists and GPs makes care safer.

The public can be confident that pharmacists and doctors already work collaboratively to make sure the use of powerful prescription medicines is safe and effective.”


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