Would hospital patients benefit if those who were able were allowed to administer their own medicines? What do you think?
Self-administration of medicines schemes allow patients to continue to take their own medicines while in hospital. This maintains their independence and routines and allows health professionals to monitor how they take their medicine and offer advice and support.
However, in acute hospital wards, factors such as short length of stay and dependency of patients means opportunities for assessing patients to self-medicate are limited. As a result, patients who could benefit are overlooked.
In some trusts, models of care are being tried that assume all patients can self-administer their medicines rather than automatically assuming they cannot. It will be interesting to see the results of these “opt out” schemes.
Martin Shepherd, head of medicines management, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust