Overworked care home staff, poor teamwork and lack of training mean seven in 10 elderly residents are subject to medication errors.

A study by Leeds, London and Surrey universities includes data on 256 residents, each of whom was typically taking eight medicines, throughout 55 care homes across England.

It found that 69.5 per cent had been subject to one or more medication errors, according to the journal Quality and Safety in Health Care.

The report said: “Contributing factors from 89 interviews included doctors who were not accessible, did not know the residents and lacked information in homes when prescribing; home staff’s high workload, lack of medicines training and drug round interruptions; lack of teamwork among home, practice and pharmacy; inefficient ordering systems; inaccurate medicine records and prevalence of verbal communication; and difficult to fill (and check) medication administration systems.”