A General Medical Council (GMC) review has said that GPs are making prescriptions errors which are affecting 1 in 6 people.
The study was based on 1200 patients and found that elderly and young patients were the worst affected. This was due to the issues in elderly people where they are already using many different medications and mistakes arise where it is wrong to combine drugs with one another. In young people it was more about lack of knowledge where the wrong dosage is prescribed.
The report suggests that many of these medical mistakes on prescriptions are minor such as the wrong instructions or incomplete instructions. Some of these were even being rectified by a pharmacist before patients were actually given the drugs. But in some cases the completely wrong drug was prescribed and writing instructions incorrectly can result in great mistakes, for example a digit placed in error can mean the difference between ‘1 x’ prescribed drug per day and ’10 x’ prescribed drug per day.
Swain & Co.’s specialist medical negligence team say that although most are only minor medication errors, it is clear that there is a need for improvements to be made. 4% of these medication errors have been classed as severe and the effects can have devastating, resulting in allergic reactions, overdosing requiring emergency medical assistance, hyperglycaemic reactions, unwanted side effects and, in extreme circumstances, can be life threatening resulting death.
Patient safety must be safeguarded, so here at Swain & Co. we support the government plans to improve practices by working with GPs. The physical and mental health consequences can be damaging. We also back the suggestions that patient consultations should increase from 10 to 15 minutes in a bid to ease pressure on doctors.
If you have been wrongly prescribed medication and have suffered as a result, speak to our specialist medical negligence team offer free initial consultation to discuss your potential claim for compensation, and can act on a no win no fee basis. Speak to Graeme Swain on 02392 483322 or Melanie Lidstone-Land or Patrick Oliver on 02380 631111.