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Medicines management for nursing practicePharmacology, patient safety, and procedures$
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Graham Brack, Penny Franklin, and Jill Caldwell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199697878.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 August 2021

Patient Safety and Error Reduction

Patient Safety and Error Reduction

Chapter 2 (p.25) Patient Safety and Error Reduction
Medicines management for nursing practice

Graham Brack

Penny Franklin

Jill Caldwell

Oxford University Press

Most healthcare professionals take up their career because they want to make people better. It is rare—but not unknown—to find nurses deliberately harming patients. It is not always possible to cure a patient’s condition, and readers may be surprised to hear the view of Lord Justice Stuart-Smith that our ‘only duty as a matter of law is not to make the victim’s condition worse’ (Capital and Counties plc v Hampshire CC (1997) 2 All ER 865 at 883). Despite our best intentions, healthcare professionals do sometimes make the patient’s condition worse. There are too many instances of harm caused to patients. Not only does the patient suffer harm, staff will be upset (some may even give up their careers) and large compensation claims may be made which deplete NHS resources. According to the NHS Litigation Authority, in 2010–11 it received 8655 claims of clinical negligence and 4346 claims of non-clinical negligence against NHS bodies, and paid £863 million in connection with clinical negligence claims (NHSLA Annual Report and Accounts, 2011 ). To put that into perspective, NHS Warwickshire had a budget of £827m for that year, so this amount would fund a mediumsized PCT. For all these reasons, therefore, our first concern must be to do no harm to our patient. If we can improve their condition, so much the better, but at the very least we must leave them no worse off for having put themselves in our care. Patient safety must be everyone’s concern. It is monitored by the NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority. Until June 2012 there was a separate agency, the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), which produced a report in 2009 entitled Safety in doses: improving the use of medicines in the NHS . There were 811 746 reports to the NPSA in 2007, of which 86 085 were related to medication. The figures for July 2010– June 2011 show an increase to 1.27 million incidents, of which 133727 were related to medication.

Keywords:   amoxicillin, competence, dose calculations, guidelines, latent conditions, medication incidents, naproxen, patient safety

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