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Group behind delivery safety review sets out next priorities

The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group has set out its next priorities, following the publication of its review of medicines delivery services.

The group (see more details below), which consists of representatives of all of the larger pharmacy chains, as well as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), published a report on best practices for medicines delivery services last month.

As well as delivery services, the group’s other priorities include working with the NHS to improve the systems by which pharmacies can report patient safety incidences, as well as creating “top tips around dispensing children’s medicine”, according to Company Chemists' Association senior policy adviser Kate Livesey, who provides secretariat support for the group.

“Children are one of the most vulnerable patient groups. So that is an area we’re focusing on, because different pharmacies do things in different ways,” Ms Livesey told C+D last Friday (June 30).

“There’s a really simple tip somebody mentioned the other week, which was…using a stamp that said ‘child’ in red ink. Every time a prescription came in for somebody who was under 14, they stamped it.”

“It draws the team’s attention to that script in a different way,” Ms Livesey said. “They think about the small person behind the prescription, rather than potentially just seeing a piece of paper.”

Reasons for dispensing errors

The group will also follow up on some of the issues featured in the NPA’s medication safety officer’s reports, Ms Livesey explained.

“Everyone just accepts [what] the most common errors in [pharmacies] are. But we don’t want to accept that.”

As well as “looking at lettering on prescriptions”, she added that the group will consider if there is “a different way dispensaries can be organised that would help reduce the likelihood of some of those errors?”.

“It’s recognising that packaging…will be a contributory factor, but there may be other things that come into it – especially human factors.”

Explained: The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group

When was it created?

Facilitated by Pharmacy Voice, the self-funded group was established in February 2015 by the medication safety officers of the larger community pharmacy organisations, as well as the NPA.

What is its aim?

“To regularly meet and openly share and learn from each other – as well as from other safety conscious industries – consider how learning would be applied across the pharmacy network, then work together to create the opportunities to do so.”

You can read more about the group's sector-wide work plan here.

Who are its members?

The group is chaired by Well superintendent Janice Perkins, and comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Well
  • Asda
  • Boots UK
  • Cohens Chemist
  • Day Lewis
  • Dudley Taylor Pharmacies
  • H I Weldrick Ltd
  • Lincolnshire Co-operative
  • Lloydspharmacy
  • Morrisons
  • National Pharmacy Association
  • NHS Improvement
  • Rowlands Pharmacy
  • Paydens Ltd
  • PCT Healthcare Ltd
  • Superdrug
  • Tesco
  • Waremoss
  • WR Evans Ltd

Where can I find out more?

Full details are available on the group’s website here.

What safety issues do you think the group should focus on?

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