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Learning from medication errors

Date published:

Medication errors are any Patient Safety Incidents (PSI) where there has been an error in the process of prescribing, preparing, dispensing, and administering, monitoring or providing advice on medicines. Medication errors can occur at many steps in patient care, from ordering the medication to the time when the patient is administered the drug.

From April 1 2015 to 31 March 2020 NHS Resolution received 1,212 claims relating to errors in the medication process. Of those claims, 487 claims settled with damages paid, costing the NHS £35 million (excluding legal costs).

NHS Resolution initial data for medication errors indicates that anticoagulants, opioids, antimicrobials, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are the most common medications to be implicated in incidents.

To share learning from clinical negligence claims with healthcare professionals, NHS Resolution has now published four, out of a suite of five, information leaflets relating to medication errors. The ‘Did You Know’ series covers: