One in Ten UK Hospital Prescriptions Contain Mistakes

7 December 2009 (Last Updated December 7th, 2009 18:30)

Almost one in ten UK hospital prescriptions contain mistakes that may harm patients, a new study has found. The study commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) said mistakes include omitting drugs, wrong doses, not taking account of a patient's allergies and illegible handwritin

Almost one in ten UK hospital prescriptions contain mistakes that may harm patients, a new study has found.

The study commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) said mistakes include omitting drugs, wrong doses, not taking account of a patient's allergies and illegible handwriting.

The General Medical Council has called for a single drug chart to be used as standard across the NHS to reduce the number of errors, according to The Telegraph.

According to the study, 11,077 errors were detected out of 124,260 prescriptions checked by pharmacists in 19 hospitals in England.

GMC chairman Prof Peter Rubin said newly qualified doctors made mistakes in 8.4% of their prescriptions but also wrote the most prescriptions.

"Prescribing decisions in a hospital setting often have to be made quickly, so it is important that a procedure is as simple as possible to minimise the chance of an error being made," Rubin said.