Advising with empathy and experience

GP prescribing errors highlighted.

A report commissioned by the GMC has found that more than one in six patients put on medication after seeing their GP are given a prescription containing an error. Although the majority of errors were oversights rather then mistakes, one in 550 amounted to a severe error.

Serious errors included prescription for a medication where there was a previous record of allergy. Other errors involved failing to monitor patients taking longer term medication including warfarin.

The error rate in GP surgeries of 5% is lower than the equivalent rate in hospitals which was found, in a similar GMC exercise, to be 8%.

Kim Daniells of the CNCI Team commented "we receive many enquiries from patients who have been prescribed  inappropriate medications or dosages. Fortunately, in most cases errors are spotted by the pharmacist or by the patient before any medication is taken. Occasionally patients report that the error has only been identified some time later but in most cases any adverse health effects are mild and transient. Sadly, some errors will cause lasting damage. We welcome all efforts being made by the GMC, RCGP and CQC to reduce prescribing  errors and improve patient safety".