Half of hospital trusts require staff to have training on time-critical medication, charity finds

Parkinson's UK, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and other healthcare bodies have called on the government to ensure NHS trusts have policies in place to enable patients to receive their medicines on time.
Healthcare professional giving medication to a patient in hospital bed

Just over half of NHS trusts in England require staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to have training on time-critical medication, a report from the charity Parkinson’s UK has highlighted.

Using a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the charity found that 52% of hospital trusts had a policy in place requiring training. Although 81% of trusts said they had electronic prescribing systems set up, just 58% were using the systems to report on whether patients with Parkinson’s disease were receiving their medicine on time.

A total of 91% of NHS hospital trusts responded to the FoI request, which was sent to each NHS trust in England.

Parkinson’s UK said that missed or delayed medication can affect patients’ ability to manage their condition, or worsen their ability to walk, talk, eat or swallow.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has added its support to a statement, published by the charity alongside its report, which calls on the UK government to ensure that measures are in place across hospitals in England so that all patients receive time-critical medicines when they should.

The statement says that all NHS trusts should have policies on self-administration of medication in each hospital, across each ward (where it is safe), so that patients who are able to take their own medication on time can do so; increase the rollout of e-prescribing in hospitals and use it to monitor and report on missed or delayed doses; and train all hospital ward staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication so that they know what time-critical medication is and who needs it.

The statement has also been backed by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action and four other healthcare charities.

Juliet Tizzard, director of external relations at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We believe that no one should fear going into hospital, and we’re here to work with the NHS to make sure people who depend on time-critical medication see hospital as a safe place to be. It is time to act now.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2023, Vol 311, No 7977;311(7977)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.197124

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