An HSJ roundtable, sponsored by BD, looked at how to reduce medication errors, improving outcomes for patients and reducing waste from unused or unnecessary medicines.

Medicines are key to modern healthcare but, administered wrongly, can be dangerous. As many as 237 million errors a year are made according to recent research – thankfully with over three quarters not thought to lead to harm but with 712 deaths a year directly caused by medications.

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Earlier this year, former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt committed the NHS to increased action to reduce errors. He emphasised the role of technology and information sharing in reducing errors, and the need not to criminalise pharmacists for mistakes they could not avoid.

These themes have also been picked up by his successor Matt Hancock.

An HSJ roundtable, sponsored by BD, looked at how to reduce medication errors, improving outcomes for patients and reducing waste from unused or unnecessary medicines.

Panel

  • Sharon Brennan, HSJ – roundtable chair
  • Richard Cattell, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer, NHSI
  • Dr John Dean, deputy medical director East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and clinical director for quality improvement and patient safety, Royal College of Physicians
  • Professor Rachel Elliott, professor in health economics, University of Manchester
  • Dr Aidan Fowler, director of NHS quality improvement and patient safety, Public Health Wales, and now national patient safety director, NHS Improvement  
  • Josephine Ocloo, patient safety researcher, King’s College London
  • Greg Quinn, director public policy and advocacy, BD
  • Joe Rafferty, chief executive, Mersey Care Trust
  • Pippa Roberts, director of pharmacy and medicines management, Wirral University Hospital Foundation Trust
  • Kath Senior, director of nursing, East Cheshire Trust