Burton’s Queen’s Hospital is aiming to make life easier for patients by backing a high-profile green bags campaign as part of the national ‘My Medicines, My Health’ scheme.
The pharmacy department at the hospital in Belvedere Road is the latest to lend its support to the NHS initiative providing patients with easily identifiable green bags to be used to transport prescription medicines into hospital.
The medication bags are being given to patients who require regular trips to the hospital, who suffer from respiratory problems and for people attending for an operation.
The campaign aims to enable health professionals to identify all the prescription drugs a patient is currently taking and reduce the level of medication being prescribed in error, which can sometimes happen on admission.
By taking their medication with them into hospital, patients will be playing a vital part in reducing the amount of medication being wasted through duplication within the NHS.
The discharge process will also be more efficient as not all patients will have to wait for additional prescriptions, while the amount of time that NHS staff will need to spend on processing discharges and the administration of drugs will be cut, freeing up staff to focus on caring for other patients.
Faye Prescott, chief pharmacy technician at the trust, said: "This is an excellent initiative which we are really embracing as a trust. It is a really simple concept but has so many benefits, both to the patients as well as to the NHS.
"A study in the West Midlands showed that prior to the introduction of the green bags just 26 per cent of people admitted to hospital brought their own medicines into hospital. We also want to empower people to learn about their own medication and to understand what they are taking it for.
"Medication errors occur most commonly at the interfaces of care, particularly at admission. The transfer of a patient’s medication on admission to hospital, using a green medicine bag, is one method to help support effective medicines reconciliation and therefore reduce medication errors. Green medicine bags also increase cost-effectiveness, patient involvement with their medication and release time for patient care."
The medicine bags are available for patients at pre-op clinics, and will be provided to patients who are frequent visitors to the hospital. Posters and leaflets with information about the initiative are placed around the trust and patients can receive further information about the scheme via the pharmacy team if required.