Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

RCN welcomes start of new Scottish prescription chart trial

  • Comment

A new trial that will make it easier to prescribe medicines is set to get under way in Scottish hospitals.

Tayside, Western Isles and Highland NHS Boards will all take part in the Single Prescription and Administration Record for Scotland (SPARS) project.

The trial will work on developing a new standardised prescribing and administration chart to cut out errors in prescribing wrong doses or the wrong drug by clinical staff.

The new standardised chart, designed by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and approved by doctors, pharmacists and nurses, will provide a simpler and more uniform document to be used across all hospitals and wards.

It is hoped that if the trial, which begins in April, is successful then the chart will be rolled out nationally across Scotland.

“This initiative, which proposes to streamline processes for capturing accurate records, will improve nursing practice”

Theresa Fyffe

Theresa Fyffe, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, commended the Royal College of Physician of Edinburgh and Healthcare Improvement Scotland for “taking the initiative” to standardise adult in-patient prescription charts.

“Medication administration is an important nursing task and demanding workloads, combined with increased volume and complex prescribed medication, can increase the risk of medication errors. A standardised chart will support a consistent approach to medication record keeping, reducing variations in practice and errors and enhancing patient safety,” she said.

Theresa Fyffe

Theresa Fyffe

“This initiative, which proposes to streamline processes for capturing accurate records, will improve nursing practice. We hope the results of the pilot of this prescription chart with three NHS Health boards in Scotland will help with the introduction and adoption of a ‘fit-for-purpose’ chart,” she added

Research has suggested that around 7% of prescriptions in Scottish hospitals contained an error, a rate similar to that in England and internationally, according to previous studies.

Busy trainee doctors were often found to be at fault for the avoidable errors in written prescriptions. Typically, they were responsible for more than 50% of prescriptions in hospitals, and having to deal with different charts while on rotation was a contributing factor in many of their mistakes.

Trainee doctors blamed the errors on workload and time pressures.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs