Repeated problems around prescribing medication

Repeated problems around prescribing medication

Whilst we receive a significant mixture of types of cases within our clinical negligence department, we are able to identify patterns or repeated types of cases. We have experienced concern on numerous occasions in the past surrounding prescriptions, either as the focus point of a claim or as the result of further investigation into cases, such as following consideration of medical records or conferences with independent medical experts.

Examples of types of instructions we receive on this topic include the following: -

  • Incorrect prescriptions being given i.e. the incorrect medication being noted on the prescription form.
  • A patient being treated incorrectly with another patient's prescription.
  • Prescriptions being given in the absence of reason or justification.
  • Prescriptions being given without contemplation of a patient's condition or medical history, which may result in allergic side effects or two medications conflicting, etc.

Upon consideration of the types of cases we have seen, it is my view that there is a need for not only investigation into health boards to determine the standard of care surrounding prescriptions but indeed additional safeguards and training into the prescribing of medication.

We must remember that we encounter medical professionals when we are at our most vulnerable. With this in mind, we give our trust to the care providers. In turn, that trust must be respected and cared for by the relevant care providers.

If you have any queries on this topic or would like further advice, please contact our Clinical Negligence Department, and ask to speak with Rachael James (the author of this blog) or Lucy Thomas. Please note, the contents of this blog are not to be interpreted as advice but as a matter of opinion only.

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