GPhC welcomes DH initiative to tackle prescribing errors
Pharmacy has a â€˜vital roleâ€™ in protecting patients against medication-related risks, the General Phamaceutical Council said in response to Jeremy Huntâ€™s announcement of a new initiative tackling prescribing errors.
Writing in the Health Service Journal, Mr Hunt said: â€œUp to one in 12 prescriptions may include a mistake and whilst weâ€™re lucky most donâ€™t cause harm to patients, there is more we can do to tackle the problem and make the NHS safer.
â€œThatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve launched a new scheme working with the NHS to reduce these errors and protect patients.â€
Speaking at the Royal Pharmaceutical Societyâ€™s annual conference, pharmacy minister Steve Brine that Mr Hunt was working with NHS Englandâ€™s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge to devise a strategy for reducing prescribing errors.
Mr Brine said: â€œStudies currently indicate that up to eight per cent of prescriptions have a mistake in dosage level, course length or medication type â€“ a risk which the WHO identifies as a â€˜leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems around the world.â€™â€
Educating patients about their medicines will be key to the Department of Healthâ€™s initiative, Mr Brine said, as will reviewing the safe transfer of information between care settings.
GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: â€œThe GPhC welcomes this initiative to explore ways to improve medication safety still further. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play a vital role in ensuring the safe supply of medicines, but also in working with patients, carers and other healthcare professionals to guard against a range of medication-related risks, including those to do with prescribing.
â€œWe look forward to learning more about NHS Englandâ€™s plans and how our work with the pharmacy profession and other regulators can complement this important initiative.â€