Every person around the world will, at some point in their life, take medications to prevent or treat illness. However, medications sometimes cause serious harm if incorrectly stored, prescribed, dispensed, administered or if monitored insufficiently.

World Patient Safety Day takes place on 17 September and the theme this year is Medication without harm – raising awareness of what patients who are taking medication can do to ensure they are doing so safely.

For World Patient Safety Day the World Health Organisation (WHO) have issued some simple guidance:

  • When prescribed a medication, check with your health worker that you have all the information you need to take it safely. Follow the Know. Check. Ask. actions
  • Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take, including traditional medicines, and share it with your treating health workers
  • Take your medications as recommended by your health worker
  • Use the 5 Moments for Medication Safety tool to keep you safe while taking your medications
  • Be aware of the potential side-effects of your medications
  • Store your medications as indicated and check the expiration date regularly
  • Raise any concerns about your medication with your health worker

Patient Safety Specialist with NHS Dorset, Jaydee Swarbrick “NHS Dorset Patient Safety teams, Medicines Management teams and Medicines Safety Officers are working collaboratively to support the aims of World Patient Safety Day.

“Each Hospital Trust and local pharmacies are promoting awareness and providing updates for staff and patients.

“We are holding a networking event for health professionals on 16 September to share learning from medicines incidents and specifically focus on the Safety Improvement programme to reduce harm from opiate drugs in our communities.”

For more information on the World Health Organisation visit who.int.