NHS Trust in Drugs Error Row


An NHS trust has played down figures which show it made more than 500 mistakes in three years when issuing drugs, claiming that many of the errors did not pose a serious threat to patients.

However, a patients' group has voiced its concern over the statistics from NHS Tayside, saying that part of the problem is down to doctors not having enough time to spend with patients.

The chairwoman of the Scotland Patients' Association, Margaret Watt, told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper: "Doctors are under a lot of pressure and strain, so I can understand why mistakes are made. But some mistakes can be fatal, and I think that doctors should be given the time to go over their work."

The 539 errors recorded included prescribing the wrong medicine, delays in getting drugs to wards and paperwork issues, but NHS Tayside said that the figures represented all incidents relating to medication and that even minor errors were reported.

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Margaret Poyner from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This research shows that errors are continuing to be made when Drs are prescribing and administering medication.

"Thankfully many of these errors are quickly picked up on with no long term side effects to the patients. However we do come across cases time and time again where excessive doses of medication or the wrong type of medication has caused long term damage to patients. Careless errors such as a monthly doses being prescribed weekly or daily can have catastrophic consequences."