Medication errors are a huge issue for the NHS
A recent report by the Department of Health and Social Care estimates that 237 million medication errors occur in the UK every year, with 66 million clinically significant errors causing the potential for patient harm.
These result in avoidable adverse drug reactions that cost the NHS £98.5 million per year, consuming 181,626 bed days, causing 712 deaths, and contributing to a further 1,708 deaths.
As a result, reducing medication errors must be a priority for all healthcare professionals.
Non-adherence stops patients from getting the full benefit of their medication
On top of these issues, studies have found that around 50% of people do not take their medication as prescribed. This number increases with age and the number of medications a person takes. This results in patients not properly managing their conditions which can lead to long term complications which require further medical attention, including GP visits and hospital admissions.
The implications of non-adherence on the NHS are staggering. Approximately £300 million of the NHS budget is spent every year on medication that is wasted. £90 million worth of this unused medication is believed to be in patients’ homes, sat in their medicine cabinets.
Unfortunately, this cost is just the tip of the iceberg, as it does not account for the resources used up treating avoidable ill health. For example, the NHS spends £500m per year on treating the preventable complications of Type 2 Diabetes alone.
PillTime: community pharmacy with a difference
Realising the scale of these issues, award-winning pharmacist Paul Mayberry has set up PillTime.
PillTime is an NHS pharmacy that sorts medication by the dose into easy to open pouches and delivers directly to the patient’s door, free of charge. Its tailored medication service ensures patients are in complete control of their medication, giving them the confidence and peace of mind that they need never miss a dose again.
PillTime uses state-of-the-art robotic technology to dispense all medication that needs to be taken at a particular time into a single pouch. All pouches are checked for 100% accuracy using cutting-edge image recognition technology and a team of highly-trained pharmacists. The pouches are clearly labelled with details of their contents and are dispensed in the order they need to be taken.
Ideal for those taking multiple medications, PillTime supports patients and carers, care homes and surgeries to make managing medication simple and hassle-free — reducing errors and promoting patient health.
A simple solution for patients
Patients can sign up to PillTime’s free service online at www.pilltime.co.uk.
With a community pharmacy ethos and patient wellbeing at its core, PillTime values its strong relationships with patients and other healthcare professionals. Their pharmacists can provide support over the phone where needed. Hassle-free and convenient, medication is delivered straight to patients’ doors via tracked Royal Mail service.
Made with healthcare professionals in mind
PillTime also has major benefits for carers. Having all the medication you need to administer in one clearly labelled, dose-specific pouch allows you to spend less time sorting medication and more time providing vital care and support to your patients.
PillTime can also provide a hospital discharge service. Its state-of-the-art dispensing and optical recognition technology has set new standards of dispensing accuracy and adherence — ultimately reducing the risk of medication errors, serious complications and re-admissions.
The future of pharmacy
PillTime’s solution helps patients manage their conditions and feel better for longer, whilst helping to alleviate the burden of medication errors and patient non-adherence on the NHS. With this innovative approach, PillTime is bringing community pharmacy into the Twenty-First Century.