The Royal Bolton Hospital has started a campaign to encourage people to bring their own medicines with them when they have a hospital stay.
Not only will this ensure that patients have the correct medication right from the start, and mean that there will be reduced delays waiting for medicines to take home, but it will also reduce wastage.
When a patient is discharged from hospital they need to have seven days worth of any medicines they are prescribed. If they do not have their own medicines with them –even if they have them at home – the hospital must give them a new prescription which is usually for 28 days.
This contributes to a massive annual bill of £300m. nationally on wasted medication of which £150m a year is avoidable. At the Royal Bolton Hospital, it is estimated that £100k a year could be saved if patients brought in their own medicines.
Steve Simpson, Chief Pharmacist at the hospital, said the savings would be reinvested.
He said: “The current system means that we have to give patients medication – including nebulisers, tablets, syrups — even if they have them at home. If patients bring in their own medication we can check that the medicines are in good condition, labelled correctly and are what is required, making any changes necessary. When the patient is ready to go home we won’t need to overprescribe as we will know what
medicines they already have.
“Our proposal is not only better and safer for patients, but will save money for local NHS services which can then be used elsewhere.”