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James Bell targets repeat prescription errors

By Principal Lawyer, Clinical Negligence

Medication errors make up a fifth of all errors occurring in general practice and extra care must be taken when repeat prescriptions are being issued.
 
I am acting on one case where a prescription issued by a hospital was written up into the GP records. The prescription was for prednisolone, a type of steroid used to treat Crohn’s disease.
The drug was suitable to treat acute episodes of Crohn’s disease only. It is not meant to be taken on a regular basis for long periods of time.
 
However, by putting the drug on repeat prescription, with no follow up checks, the result was that my client took a high dose of prednisolone, every day for just over 3 years.
 
The problem with repeat prescribing is that the initial error is repeated, and compounded. The Medical Protection Society, one of the two bi insurers of General Practitioners, found that 34% of practices they visited did not have a robust repeat prescribing policy in place – paving the way for prescribing risks such as the one set out above.

My client has been diagnosed with osteoporosis in his spine as a result of the repeated negligent prescriptions.James Bell is a Partner in the Russell Jones & Walker clinical negligence team. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email enquiries@slatergordon.co.uk and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.

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