One in six patients issued wrong prescriptions by GPs
As many as one in six patients are likely to suffer due to erroneous prescriptions issued by their GPs, the General Medical Council (GMC) has revealed.
The study, based on 6000 prescriptions, said the worst-hit by wrong prescriptions are children and the elderly. The proportion of over-70s affected stood at 38%.
The range of mistakes included: incomplete information; incorrect dosage, frequency, or timing; and in some cases, wrongly-prescribed medications.
However, according to the University of Nottingham’s medical school who compiled the official regulator’s report, most of the mistakes identified were minor, and would have been corrected by the pharmacist before the patients were given their medication.
Only four percent of the issues related to prescriptions were classed as “severe”.
Amongst other recommendations, the GMC suggested increasing the length of a GP appointment from ten minutes to 15, offering better training for GPs, and conducting more checks on their prescribing practice.
One thousand patients were involved in the study over a period of 12 months, and of them 18% experienced at least one mistake over the course of the period.