Always read the label: a patient gets to grips with half-a-dozen types of medication at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. It is breaking with 25 years of NHS operating procedure by allowing patients to take their own medicines in hospital instead of confiscating or destroying them on admission. Pharmacists check the medicines and dispense supplementary drugs under the pilot scheme, which should save UHW pounds5 per inpatient - about pounds250,000 a year. David Roberts, principal pharmacist at UHW, said the idea also prevented confusing duplication of medicines, improving patient understanding of the drugs they were taking.