"hospital prescription policies"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

i had a stay on a ward recently. However was shocked when I was told all patients had to hand over any prescribed medications they brought into hospital with them, and could only have this back when they left, to prevent patients taking there own without staff aware. This was not just me, this was every patient. I also overheard the staff meeting, where they said they sit over patients and watch them take any prescribed meds they normally take and watch till they have taken them. firstly, any meds patients bring in with the, belong to the patient, any staff that orders or tries to take patient meds is theft ! secondly, sitting over patients (everyone) and watching till them take them - this is ridiculous. If patients can manage their meds at home, they don't need sitting over and being watched while taking (I must point out this wasn't a pysch ward, !) I was told this was all wards, all patients, all meds, just policy. I actually had to sleep with my handbag under my bedsheets as I was so concerned staff would take my prescription meds ! I would like hospital to address this issue as no one would. concerned if have to go back in, and I will never hand them over despite the 'orders' staff give... these are mentally capable adults, not children, or elderly frail people...

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and we are sorry that you were not happy with the Trust policy regarding patients’ own medication. We request that patients bring in their medication are for several reasons: • To correctly identify current medication treatment • Check understanding of how the patient currently takes their medicine • Discuss recent changes in the patient's medication • Ensure continuity of patient medication and prevent omissions and delays in continuing medication • In some cases, reduce possible delays in discharge due to waiting for medication • Storage must be in a safe secure area as we need to safeguard all patients, which would not be possible if medication was available openly on the ward While a patient is an inpatient it is important that medication is administered under the supervision of a nurse as: • Prescribed medicines can only be given in accordance to the orders of a doctor and according to his/her directions. • Medication changes occur of which the patient may not be aware but are at the direction of a doctor (such as stopping a medicine) • Ensuring that medication is only administered to the patient to whom it has been prescribed • Patients’ capabilities may change during their stay due to their illness or procedures that would mean it would not be safe for them to self administer • Monitoring the affects of patients’ treatment to ensure best treatment - this cannot be performed if we do not know what the patient has taken. It is understood that the medication is the property of the patient and should be returned to the patient on discharge or with their consent destroyed if the treatment is changed. Verbal consent for safe storage and administration of the patient's own medication is obtained from the patient, usually by the nurse looking after them.

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