Patients are being urged to take their medication with them when they go into hospital.
Statistics from The James Cook University Hospital reveal that as few as 35% of patients remember to pack any medication they are already using when they attend hospital.
In a bid to increase this, pharmacy teams at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces with ambulance colleagues to relaunch the Green Medicines Bag scheme.
The scheme encourages patients to bring all their medicines into hospital in their original labelled containers.
They are then given a green medicines bag to keep them safe and easily accessible. This also ensures medication is kept together and is ready to move with the patient if they need to go to another ward or hospital or be discharged home.
Medicines to pack include any tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, ointments, inhalers, sprays, patches, injections, vitamins, eye drops, herbal remedies, suppositories or pessaries – anything a patient already uses to manage their condition.
“Bringing your own medicines helps ensure there are no delays getting the drugs you need, lets us know what you are currently taking and helps us safely introduce any new drugs to your treatment,” said Chief Pharmacist Julie Swaddle.
“It also improves patient safety by preventing waste, minimising missed doses and reducing the risk of prescribing errors.
“And it has the potential to save local hospitals up to £600,000 a year to be reinvested in patient care!
“A recent audit at James Cook shows as few as 35% of patients bring their own medication to hospital with them, but we want to see that rise to 80%.”