Nurses, senior medics and pharmacists are regularly correcting doctors’ mistakes with medicines, according to research.
The study, commissioned by the General Medical Council, found that “doctors relied heavily on pharmacists and nurses to identify and correct errors”.
The report said some of the junior doctors interviewed thought these “safety nets” were so efficient they did not need to worry too much about their errors reaching patients.
The GMC called for a standardised prescription chart - the type that sits at the end of a patient’s hospital bed - to be introduced across England to cut down the number of errors.
Research involved 19 hospital trusts in North West England. Errors, which occur in around one in 10 hospital medication orders, are sometimes caused by what the report calls “a lack of safety culture” in the NHS.
The study said: “A ‘safety culture’ was conspicuous by its absence from respondents’ discourses of their prescribing errors, the reported culture of their working environments and the reported actions of other doctors.
Have you ever had to step in to correct a doctor's mistake?