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Bringing your medicines to hospital

When you come into hospital, it is important to make sure you bring all of your medicines with you. This includes inhalers, external preparations like creams and eye drops, injectable medicines like insulin, any herbal remedies and any over the counter medicines you have bought.

If you receive any medicines from outpatient clinics, cancer care, or through a home delivery service, please let the doctors, nurses, and pharmacy team members know about these, too.

Why is it important to bring my medicines with me to hospital?

  • You're less likely to miss doses
  • It can help reduce discharge times¬†
  • It helps the healthcare professionals looking after you identify what medicines you are currently taking
  • It helps to create familiarity between you and your medicines
  • It can help save the NHS money
  • It helps reduce medicine waste

What should I do if I haven't brought my medicines into hospital with me?

  • Wherever possible, you should ask a relative or visitor to bring in any medicines you have at home
  • If you are unable to get your medicines from home, make sure to tell the doctors, nurses, or a member of the pharmacy team about the medicines you have at home

What happens to my medicines whilst I am in hospital?

  • Your medicines are stored in your bedside locker unless it has specific storage requirements
  • The nursing staff will store any medicines with specific storage requirements in the clinical room
  • Your own medicines may be used during your inpatient stay
  • If you transfer to a different ward, your medicines will be transferred with you

What happens to my medicines when I go home?

  • The doctor will write a prescription for you. This will be sent to your GP surgery and will have information about any new medicines you have been prescribed, plus any medicines that have stopped during your stay
  • A copy of your discharge letter will be given to you
  • Your medicines will be returned to you from the bedside locker or clinical room
  • Any¬†medicines from new or existing prescriptions will be provided by the hospital pharmacy
  • Any medicines that have been stopped by the doctor can be disposed of safely by the hospital pharmacy team with your permission

You should always inform the doctors, nurses or a member of the pharmacy team if you have an allergy or intolerance to a medicine or to any other substance such as food, latex etc

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