Hospital launches medicines initiative to cut pharmacy bills (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Hospital launches medicines initiative to cut pharmacy bills
Great Western Hospital’s pharmacy department has launched a new initiative to cut down on duplication of prescribing medication.
Patients who go into the hospital in Swindon will be given a green bag to put all their medication in.
When they return home the green bag will go with them and if they are admitted back into the hospital they will be asked to bring the green bag and their medication with them.
For people who are admitted as an emergency, paramedics will be asked to look out for a green bag in the patients’ homes and bring it in with them.
Pharmacy staff say not all patients who come into the hospital bring their medication with them and the hospital can end up having to issue drugs the patient already has at home.
They audited how much medication was wasted over a two-week period through medicines that were over supplied and medicines that were not transferred when a patient left the hospital and have calculated that the green bag scheme will save the NHS £58,000 a year.
Denise Reeves, lead pharmacist at GWH, said: "This is a very simple idea and in the future any patient being admitted to the Great Western Hospital will be given a green pharmacy bag to keep their medicines with them throughout their stay.
"A pharmacist will check the drugs on admission and then again on discharge to make sure the patient has everything they need.
"There are a number of benefits for patients and for the hospital from this scheme. Together with improving patient safety by ensuring doctors have the information they need to treat the patient effectively, it’s also designed to reduce the chance of delays in patient treatment.
"Some patients have very complex medication needs so by us ensuring all medication is with the patient before they leave hospital we can reduce the length of their stay meaning a patient will be home more quickly."