Bringing your medicines into hospital

If you are admitted to hospital, please bring in all your own medicines from home. Alternatively, please ask an adult family member or friend to bring them in for you following admission.

Our role is to make sure that you have the right medicines when you need them, from the moment you arrive in hospital until you are discharged.

This is done by doctors, pharmacy staff and nurses at various stages of your stay in hospital.

Hospital doctors will answer your questions about your medicines when you are first admitted, when they see you on the ward round and at the time when they write your prescription.

Pharmacy staff visit wards on a regular basis. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be happy to provide advice and answer questions about your medicines.

Nurses are available to answer questions about medicines too, for example when they give you the medicines during your stay and before you go home.

A patient information leaflet will usually be supplied with each of your dispensed medicines. This leaflet will give you information about your medicines and any side effects that they may cause please ask if you have any questions about the contents of this leaflet.

During your stay in hospital you may be treated with medicines that contain substances of animal origin. If you would like further information about this, please speak to a member of the team looking after you.

Inpatient medicines

When you are admitted to a ward, a hospital doctor will prescribe the medicines that you need on your inpatient prescription chart. The prescription chart will be reviewed by a member of pharmacy staff during your stay in hospital.

A pharmacy technician will look at any medicines that you have brought into hospital and make sure that they are appropriate to use during your stay. They may ask about other medicines that you take or medicines you buy from your pharmacy (including herbal medicines). The pharmacy technician will also order any medicines that you need for your stay in hospital.

A pharmacist will look at your inpatient prescription chart to check all the medicines that have been prescribed. They will confirm that each medicine is still needed, the dose is correct and that it does not interact with your other medicines or cause unwanted side effects.

Why do you want me to bring in my medicines?
This helps us to make an accurate record of all the medicines that you are taking so we can give you the right dose of your medicines at the right time. With your permission, we can use your medicines whilst you are in hospital to avoid unnecessary costs and waste to the health service as we will not need to supply you with the same medicines that you already have at home.

What happens if I forget to bring in my medicines?
Ask a relative or friend to bring them in for you.  If you are unable to do this don’t worry, the pharmacy department and wards stock a wide range of medicines and we will be able to supply any medicines that you need.

If I bring in my own medicines from home, what happens to them?
Your medicines will be kept safe in a locked cabinet usually beside your bed. Once prescribed on your inpatient prescription chart, doses of your medicines will usually be given to you by the nursing staff during your stay in hospital. A member of the pharmacy team will check your medicines and issue more supplies if needed during your stay and to take home. Medicines that are not prescribed on your inpatient prescription chart cannot be given to you by the nurses, but if you feel that you should be taking them, please tell the nurse, doctor or pharmacist.

What happens when I go home?
If you have any questions about your medicines after you go home, you can ask your GP or pharmacist for advice or contact the medicines information service by phoning 01535 292506