31 October 2011
NHS Grampian launches Safe to Ask campaign
NHS Grampian's Medication Safety team is launching a campaign this week, called 'Safe to Ask', aimed at encouraging members of the public to ask about their medicines to improve patient safety.
"Everyone has questions about their medication at some time, so we want to encourage everyone to feel completely confident about asking questions, so they fully understand what they are taking, why, when, how and for how long," says Jennie Ross, Medication Safety Officer, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
"Being fully informed helps you to look after your own health by using your medicines exactly as prescribed - surveys show that as many as 50 per cent of people with chronic conditions don't always take their medicines exactly as they should. So, being well informed helps you benefit fully from your medicines and avoids mistakes. It also means you can confidently tell healthcare professionals about your medication, for example in an emergency. Please don't feel shy or embarrassed − it's your health and safety that matters."
The campaign also features a Medication List − a sheet designed for a person to note information on each medication they take.
"We believe this list, which we have adapted from a Canadian approach, is the first time one has been developed for NHS patients to cover every condition," said Mrs Ross. "It folds to wallet-size and is designed both as a ready reminder for the individual, and as a good source of information for any health professionals they contact, such as a pharmacist."
The campaign is also aimed at healthcare professionals, enhancing the discussions with patients about medication, whether a single short course of tablets, or a wide range of medications taken over a long period.
Susan Healy, Principal Pharmacist at NHS Grampian, says, "We hope our work will to lead to better, more informed use of medication, which plays an essential role in many people's lives every day."