Extent of GP prescription errors revealed

Breaking News today includes the shocking research, which was commissioned by the General Medical Council (often known as GMC) of the huge number of errors aid by when writing prescriptions. In a survey of 1,777 GP patients, an amazing 5% of all prescriptions written by family GPs contained a mistake. Whilst most of these errors have been classified as only mild or moderate, approximately one in every 550 was felt to contain a serious error.

The NHS issues 900 million prescriptions every year in England – so scaling up the survey, implications are that a full 45 million of those would include mistakes – with a frightening 1.8 million of those mistakes considered severe. One in eight of all patients surveyed reported a mistake in a prescription – which rose to a remarkable 40% of those patients who are over 75.

Our medical negligence solicitors do see the real suffering caused by inaccurate prescriptions. Let’s hope that the NHS and GMC take the recommendations in the report seriously – the survey called for improved training for GPs and an increased role for pharmacists in helping GPs prescribe.