Patients" lives put in danger by doctors who make "thousands of prescription errors every week"

Patients' lives put in danger by doctors who make 'thousands of prescription errors every week'
In just one week, pharmacists had to double-check 4,409 pharmacies across EnglandPrescriptions contain the wrong doses, quantities and instructions for medicines

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UPDATED:

14:53 GMT, 14 September 2012

Doctors are erroneously filling out tens of thousands of prescription forms that leave patients severely injured or even dead, it emerged today.

Pharmacists are forced to check tens of thousands of prescriptions every week which contain the wrong doses, quantities and instructions for medicines, it is claimed.

In just one week, 44,500 prescriptions had to be double-checked in 4,409 pharmacies across England, according to industry publication Pharmacy Voice.

Picking up the slack: Pharmacists' are forced to double check thousands of prescriptions due to mistakes by doctors

Picking up the slack: Pharmacists' are forced to double check thousands of prescriptions due to mistakes by doctors

Inaccuracies on the prescriptions even include the wrong drugs and incorrect strengths and quantities.

The prescription 'incidents' were recorded during a one-week audit at each of the pharmacies last year.

They are typically resolved by a telephone conversation with the prescriber or the practice team.

Rob Darracott, Pharmacy Voice chief
executive, said: 'This data shows the value of safety checks carried out
in pharmacies and the importance of information transfer between
prescriber, patient and pharmacist.

'This is not about GPs failing. It is
about teamwork in primary care working well. Your local pharmacy works
in tandem with doctors to ensure the effective and safe use of
medicines.

'This is all in a day's work for community pharmacies which check the appropriateness of 900million prescription items a year.'

'This is all in a day's work for community pharmacies which check the appropriateness of 900million prescription items a year'

Pharmacists want access to patients’ summary care records.

Doctors, however, do not want this to happen as they fear it could breach patient confidentiality.

Last month it emerged that almost 50million prescriptions were handed out by doctors in 2011 – a rise of 9 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

Experts said increasing numbers of patients are turning to GPs for help as depression loses its stigma.

At the same time, doctors are more inclined to give people a proper diagnosis and prescribe medication, rather than simply sending them away.