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Nurse-designed medicine bag goes global

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A patient medicine bag developed by a UK nurse has been adopted for use by the global healthcare market. 

The sealable bag - designed specifically for patients to keep their medications in whilst in hospital – was created by former paediatric nurse, Mary Green.

Following successful trials with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the East Midlands Ambulance Service, the patient medicine bags (PMB) were rolled out to various trusts across the UK in 2005.

They have now been adopted internationally, by countries including Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

The PMB, which costs just 12p to make, has made a significant difference to patient safety, Ms Green told delegates at NHS Innovation Expo in London last week.

‘When the bags were given out, we started to notice that there was an increase in the number of medications coming in with the patients. This meant that the patients were presenting with a full medication history, as near as we could get at that point in time,’ she said.

‘It also meant that we were able to reduce misdoses and identify contraindications in medicines. Additionally, patients became more responsible for their own medications whilst staff still retained accountability,’ she added.

Following a presentation at the patient safety and quality forum in Paris last year, the bags have also been adopted by the Swiss medication healthcare system.

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