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Home > News > Local NHS staff encourage patients to talk about their medicines

Local NHS staff encourage patients to talk about their medicines

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s pharmacy team and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust have launched a campaign to help get medicines right for patients.

The ‘Tell us about your medicines’ campaign encourages patients to talk to health professionals about their medicines and to bring them into hospital with them. Pharmacists in the hospital can then have a conversation with patients about their medicines, to help them get the most benefit from their medicines and to reduce unnecessary medicines waste.

Matt Kaye, chief pharmacist at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “It is really important that patients give us as much information as possible about their medicines, including those bought in a pharmacy or supermarket.

“We also need to know about other products, such as herbal or homeopathic remedies, and whether patients are having any problems taking their medicines – or are not taking them at all.

“Talking to us about medicines helps us to make sure people get the most benefit from them.”

People are encouraged to bring all of their medicines into hospital with them to be used, as well as their latest repeat prescription slip and any treatment cards or booklets they have been given with their medication.

Sue Oakley, pharmaceutical advisor for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Having your own medicines in hospital is better because the medicines are more familiar and it makes the process of checking current medication on admission and at discharge easier and faster.

“While it may not always be possible, for example if a patient falls ill whilst away from their home, our emergency call handlers always ask patients or their carers to have their medicines ready when the ambulance arrives.

“Why not ask your local community pharmacist to help you put together a list of the medicines that you take regularly so that you can keep it in your handbag or wallet?”

Getting the most from medicines for both patients and the NHS is becoming increasingly important as more people are taking more medicines. The World Health Organisation estimates that between 30% and 50% of medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as intended.

Matt Kaye added: “Knowing about what our patients are taking, or often what they aren’t taking and any issues they may be having, helps us to make the best use of their medicines and to maximise the benefits they see. It also helps us to reduce medicines waste, which benefits the NHS.”

Further information about the campaign and bringing your medicines into hospital can be found on the Trust website: