Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s pharmacy team have launched a campaign to help patients get the most out of their medicines.
The ‘Talk 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.
Getting the most from medicines is becoming increasingly important for both patients and the NHS 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.”