My medicines - Green bag
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging everyone to take all their medicines with them into hospital, as this helps ensure rapid diagnosis and treatment. All ambulances now stock a green medicines bag so that all patients' medicines can be taken into hospital and can be kept with the patient through out their hospital stay.
When an ambulance is sent to you and you need to go to hospital, you will be asked for all your medicines, including any treatment you have bought, and these will be placed in the green medicines bag. The medicines will be taken into hospital with you to help the doctors identify what treatment you are under, as well as to see whether the medicines you take may be the cause of your admission.
Statistically, six per cent of emergency medical admissions to hospital are the result of a medicine error. Taking your medicines into hospital in the green medicines bag will help doctors make sure that the medicines you have been taking at home are right for you.
The use of green medicines bags also aims to reduce re-admission to hospital. An audit has shown that on average for every person admitted to hospital, there is at least one unintentional difference in the hospital prescription when compared to the medicines taken at home. Most of these errors are due to medicines a patient has been taking at home not being prescribed in hospital. An accurate medicines record helps to ensure you go home on all the right medicines and helps to avoid medicines being mixed up at home.
The Medicines Green Bag scheme aims to improve patient safety and satisfaction by:
- Giving healthcare staff accurate information on all patients medicines
- Enabling patients to maintain familiarity with their own medicines
- Helping avoid delays in administration and discharge as the patient's own medicines stay with them throughout
- Providing a bag for keeping medicines related information in, for example a repeat prescription
- Improving communication of medicines changes to care providers