GPs make serious errors in millions of prescriptions
One prescription in 20 written by family doctors contains an error, according to a study published today.
Most mistakes were classed as mild or moderate, but around one in every 550 items was judged to contain a serious error, the research commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) found.
With 900 million prescriptions issued annually across England, the figure suggests 45 million prescriptions would have errors, with 1.8 million classed as severe. The most common of the prescribing or monitoring errors were lack of information on dosage, prescribing an incorrect dosage, and failing to ensure patients were properly checked with blood tests. One in eight of all patients had a prescription item with an error – this rose to four in 10 patients aged over 75.
The researchers recommended a greater role for pharmacists in supporting GPs and better GP training.
Professor Sir Peter Rubin, chairman of the GMC, said: "GPs are typically very busy, so we have to ensure they can give prescribing the priority it needs."
A total of 1,777 patients were included in the study.
Life & Style blogs
Plus London's buy-to-let hotspots and a new property portal
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.