Hospitals urge patients to remember their medicines
Wednesday 19th July 2017 @ 12:14 by Tom Greggan
News Tameside

Hospitals across Greater Manchester have launched a campaign this week to remind patients and carers to bring their medicines when they go to hospital for an appointment, are admitted or need to go to A&E.

The region’s hospitals are making the ‘Your medicines matter’ plea to improve safety and provide a better experience for patients. They say it is important to bring in medicines from home because you will:

  • help hospital staff decide on the best and safest treatment for you
  • continue taking medicines you recognise
  • reduce waste and the cost of hospitals reissuing medicines you already have
  • help reduce delays when it is time to go home.

If you cannot bring your medicines when you are first admitted, for example if you have arrive in hospital as an emergency, relatives or carers will be asked to bring medicines in when they visit. By ‘medicines’, the hospitals mean anything you have bought from pharmacies or supermarkets and are taking or using, as well as medicines that have been prescribed for you – tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, inhalers, drops, injections and patches.

When you are admitted into hospital, staff will check your medicines. If they are safe to use, they will be stored securely along with any other medicines you may need and will be used during your stay. When leaving hospital, staff will ensure you have at least a seven day supply of medicines to go home with.

Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Your Medicines Matter is a fantastic initiative that I hope will really encourage patients to remember to bring their own medication in to hospital with them. Not only does it mean staff can decided on the best and safest treatment in the quickest time, it also cuts down significantly on waste and could save money for the NHS which could be reinvested in to front line services.”

As well as meaning better care for patients, if more people remember to bring medicines from home it would also help save the cost of prescribing duplicate medicines. Prescribing medicines again for patients who leave theirs at home is one of the reasons for the region’s significant medicine waste. If levels of medicines waste in Greater Manchester match those seen across the country this could equate to £18.8m annually which, if saved, could be reinvested into providing front-line care for patients.

Tony Sivner, Chief Pharmacist at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “By bringing your own medicines into hospital it allows us to get a quick and accurate picture of everything you are taking or using. This helps us to provide safe and appropriate care and also means your medicines are available to take from the start of your admission.”