Hospitals must cut 40,000 medicine errors UK

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hospitals 'must cut 40,000 medicine errors'
    The Daily Mail
    11th August 2006

    Hospitals have been urged to do more to cut medication errors after
    figures showed more than 40,000 mistakes were made in the last year.

    The Healthcare Commission said many Trusts were not explaining
    possible side effects to patients and needed to improve how they
    prescribed and dispensed drugs. The National Patient Safety Agency
    (NPSA) published its review covering England and Wales upon request
    from the Healthcare Commission.

    A spokeswoman for the NPSA said one in five of these mistakes caused
    harm to patients in some form. About 6,000 caused 'low harm' to
    patients, and 2,000 caused moderate or severe harm.

    Only 18 trusts in the Commission's review of medicines management
    were rated as "excellent", while 70 were "good", 73 were "fair" and
    12 were listed as "weak".

    Under European law, patients must be given written information with
    their medications, but 31 per cent of those asked by the Commission
    did not receive any.

    In addition, 48 per cent of patients did not have the potential side
    effects of drugs explained to them by medical staff.

    Trusts were measured on 21 areas, including whether patients had had
    a comprehensive medicines review and if they had a complete medicine
    record for their stay in hospital.

    Hospitals listed as weak included South Warwickshire General
    Hospitals NHS Trust, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, North
    Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Mid Staffordshire General
    Hospitals NHS Trust.

    The NPSA report said pharmacists needed to spend more time on the
    wards to minimise errors, with 11 of the 12 trusts that scored weak
    overall performing poorly in this area. Other areas needing attention
    included discussing side effects of drugs with patients.

    The Healthcare Commission's chief executive, Anna Walker,
    said: "Overall, most trusts seem to be getting the basics right when
    it comes to managing medicines safely, although it is clear that some
    organisations are better than others.

    "But our hospitals still have some way to go when it comes to
    involving patients in decisions about medicine."