"My husbands medication being taken from his own supply to be given to other patients"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

My husband was recently admitted with heart problems to East Surrey Hospital. We took his own supply of medications that he has paid for into the hospital when he was admitted. During his stay, some of the nurses on his ward repeatedly came to take drugs from his locker apparently to medicate other patients. We believe he wasn't the only patient that this happened to. He was never asked if it was ok and the drugs haven't been replaced.

To top it all, before he was discharged, one of the nurses took my husband's medication box to the pharmacy to supposedly get extra medications for him. The medications came back minus the box, in a carrier bag and also missing 3 boxes of other medications which were in the box that had been prescribed for things other than his heart condition (such as his asthma inhaler).

We found the sister on the ward incredibly rude and dismissive. I am absolutely disgusted at our experience. Taking patients drugs for other patients should not be happening but at least have the courtesy to ask and then replace them. If you take patients property it should be returned, not rummaged through and then discarded.

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Responses

Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear KR7470,

I am concerned to read this story about East Surrey Hospital and problems with your husbands medication. If you could let me have your husbands details by phoning 01737 213988 or e-mailing ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk I will ensure this matter is looked into.

regards

Ian

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear KR7470,

I hope you have seen my message as I haven't heard from you and would be keen to do so. I can be contacted by phoning 01737 213988 or e-mailing ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk.

Regards

Ian

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Dear KR7470,

Thank you for your e-mail and to confirm that we are now looking into this matter.

Regards

Ian

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Response from Fionnula Robinson, Director of Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear KR7470

As Ian mentions above we have been looking into this matter and I understand our Chief Pharmacist has been in contact with you. There are several things that we are doing to address the problems that your husband encountered:

1. There has been a staff meeting on the ward where staff were reminded that they must not take medicines from one patient for another and the facilities that they have for obtaining medicines out of pharmacy hours.

2. We are reviewing the opening hours of the clinical and dispensary service, although this will take several months to implement change.

3. We are reviewing ward medicine stock storage. Our Chief Pharmacist has met with a company that makes automated storage solutions. One of the benefits is that it makes finding medicines quicker and easier than traditional cupboards.

4. We are at the start of a project to implement an electronic prescribing and medicines administration system with medicines reconciliation. I expect that this will help ensure that discharge letters are more complete, including medicines changed and ‘suspended’.

5. Our Chief Pharmacist will personally feedback to the medical team about the impact of poor information.

I hope that you find this reassuring and I apologise for the upset that these incidents caused. We will continue to work hard to put this matter right and thank you for bringing them to our attention.

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