Reporting Medication Errors

Reporting Medication Errors
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

Reporting medication errors early is crucial as it allows errors to be corrected quickly so future patients can be protected from harm.

To help assure the safety of future patients by encouraging reporting, NHS Resolution has published the ‘Did You Know’ series. This includes eight informational leaflets, sharing learning from medical negligence claims.

What are Medication Errors?

Medication errors are any Patient Safety Incidents where there has been an incident in the process of:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Prescribing medication to a patient with a known allergy to that medication
  • Preparing
  • Dispensing the wrong medication or wrong dosage
  • Administering the medication incorrectly
  • Failing to appropriately monitor prescribed medication
  • Providing advice on medicines
  • Failing to consider that the prescribed medication may be harmful when interacting with the patient’s pre-existing medication or health conditions

Medication errors are not the same as adverse drug reactions. These often occur when weak medication systems or human factors affect processes.

Human factors to consider:

  • fatigue
  • environmental conditions
  • staffing levels.

Medication errors can result in severe harm, disability, and death.

Latest Figures from NHS Resolution

Medication errors can occur at many steps in patient care, from ordering the wrong medicine to the time when the patient is administered the drug.

From the 1st April 2015, to the 31st March 2020 NHS Resolution received 1,420 claims. These claims were for incidents in the medication process. Of those claims, 487 claims settled with damages paid, costing the NHS £35 million (excluding legal costs).

The Most Common Medications Implicated in Incidents

NHS Resolution’s initial data indicates that anticoagulants, opioids, antimicrobials, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are the most common medications to be implicated in incidents.

NHS’s ‘Did You Know’ Series

In order to share learning from clinical negligence claims with healthcare professionals, NHS Resolution has published a suite of eight information leaflets relating to medication errors. The ‘Did You Know’ series covers:

Read more about AWHs medical negligence claims here.

Making a Medical Negligence Claim with AWH Solicitors

If either you or a loved one has suffered because of medication errors, you may be entitled to make a claim. Whether the negligence you experienced was because of the NHS or a private healthcare provider, our solicitors can help you get the compensation you deserve.

At AWH, we may be able to provide you with no-win, no-fee legal help. This means you can get the help you need with the reassurance that you will not have to pay anything if the claim is unsuccessful.

It’s important to note that claims must be brought within 3 years of the date of the alleged negligence or from the date on which you first suspected you were injured because of the alleged negligence.

There are some instances where there is an exception to this rule. This includes claims involving children and protected parties. Additionally, the rules may be different when bringing forward claims on behalf of an estate.

Get in contact with our team of medical negligence solicitors

Our team of medical negligence solicitors can advise you further on your medical negligence claim.

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