Don't forget your medication

If you are attending hospital please bring any medication you are currently using with you.

This includes any tablets, capsules, liquids, creams, ointments, inhalers, sprays, patches, injections, vitamins, eyedrops, herbal remedies, suppositories or pessaries – anything you already use to manage your condition.

Bringing your own medicines helps ensure there are no delays to you getting the drugs you need, lets us know what you are taking and helps us introduce any new drugs to your treatment.

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.

What are the advantages for me?

There are many advantages to bringing in your medication to hospital appointments:

  • Ensures your medicines are available when you next need to take them
  • Help us know what medicines you are taking
  • Ensures that you are familiar with your medicines
  • Helps us to introduce any new medicines into your treatment
  • Delays are reduced when you are ready to go home
  • Waste is reduced

What happens if I haven’t brought any medicines with me?

If you haven’t brought your medicines with you, then there are some steps we may ask you to take:

  • If you have any medicines at home it would be helpful if a relative or visitor could bring these into hospital for you as soon as possible
  • If this is not possible, please let your nurse, doctor or pharmacy team know what medicines you have at home so you do not have to wait for them to be dispensed when you leave hospital
  • We do not expect you to bring in dietary products
  • Nurses and pharmacy staff will check that the medicines are suitable for you to use while you are in hospital

What should I do with my medicines when I come into hospital?

  • Please hand your medicines to a member of the nursing staff who will ensure these medicines stay with you whilst in hospital

What happens if my prescription has changed?

Sometimes in hospital your healthcare team may need to make changes to your current medication.

If the doctor wants to change any of your medicines the pharmacy team will order any new medicines or re-label your own medicines with the new information about how to take the medicine.

If any of your medicines have been stopped or we find they are not suitable, we will ask for your permission to dispose of them safely.

What happens if I run out of my own medicines while in hospital?

We’ll make sure you have the medication you need. The pharmacy team will talk to you to ask about medicines supplies and where necessary will provide you with a further supply.

What happens when I am ready to go home?

Once you are ready to go we will follow a number of steps in regards to your medicines to ensure you have everything you need:

  • We will give you your medicines back
  • The pharmacy team will supply any new medicines
  • The doctor will prepare information about your hospital stay for your GP. The information includes a prescription.
  • We will check your medicines to make sure that the dose and frequency each match the doctors instructions and that there is sufficient quantity for discharge