Urgent prescription warning as thousands harmed and 29 killed by NHS mistakes | The Sun

BRITS have been warned to check their prescriptions after 29 people died following mistakes to their medication.

Data shows that almost 6,000 people were harmed due to errors.

Millions of Brits rely on their regular prescriptions to keep them healthy and to control illness.

The new NHS data shows that patients were given the wrong drugs, wrong dosages and even not given medication when needed.

Among the 29 people who lost their lives was a pregnant woman who died after being given the wrong dose of drugs.

There are 219 NHS trusts across the country, with 105 having had errors in the last year.

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One expert today told The Sun that the new data highlights the attention both the NHS and patients need.

Jonathan White, legal and compliance director at National Accident Helpline hailed the NHS but said when things go wrong, people need adequate care and support.

He said: "There’s clearly flaws in the current prescribing methods. In fact, the NHS have said that almost one in six trusts still do not have a fully funded plan to introduce electronic prescribing, meaning they still partially run using paper notes.

"This leaves prescriptions more open to human error and miscommunication.

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"For more vulnerable patients who are elderly or in care homes, the need is even greater as they are less likely to be able to check their prescriptions themselves which means it’s paramount that the NHS reduce the risk of errors on their end.

"With prescription errors proving fatal in some cases, with 29 deaths recorded last year, it’s vital that errors aren’t only reported in a timely fashion, but action is taken to prevent future errors."

Data from the NHS shows that 98 hospital trusts had an increase in the number of prescription errors reported in 2021.

The majority of these issues were recorded as causing no harm to patients.

In total, the number of errors recorded through the national reporting and learning system (NRLS) dropped from 44,928 in 2020 to 43,452 in 2021.

But over 5,000 of these cases caused a low level of harm, with patients needing treatment.

Around 150 incidents caused a moderate degree of harm with 49 causing severe harm.

The NHS said that patient safety is paramount to the organisationand said prescription issues are 'rare' in comparison to the number of people who receive hospital care every year.

The spokesperson added: "It is vital any prescription errors are swiftly reported and action taken to prevent future errors.

“As part of this action, over the last three years the NHS has invested £75m in electronic prescribing systems, which can reduce prescribing errors by almost a third, and more than five out of six trusts now have a fully funded plan to introduce electronic prescribing.”

The data today comes after new health secretary Thérèse Coffey's pledged for patients to become her priority.

In the House of Commons today, she said she would be 'their champion'.

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She told the Commons: "To help free up appointments, we will ease pressures on GP practices by expanding the role of community pharmacies."

Part of these measures included giving pharmacist the power to give out medication without a prescriptions such as the contraceptive pill.

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