September 02, 2019

MP Visits the Royal Cornwall Hospital to See How Technology is Helping to Reduce Medication Errors and Improve Patient Safety

Local MP Steve Double has visited the Royal Cornwall Hospital, to understand more about the key role technology is playing in driving patient safety standards. The Trust has, in recent years, harnessed and invested in cutting-edge technology to manage medication administration. The automated systems reduce the risk of medication errors and free-up healthcare professionals to spend more time on face-to-face patient care.

The visit comes in the wake of a report by the Department of Health and Social Care last year which disclosed that in England 237 million mistakes occur every year at some point in the medication process1.  These errors cause serious issues for patient safety, but also place a significant cost burden on an already stretched NHS. The new Patient Safety Strategy published by NHS England and NHS Improvement earlier this year found the NHS failed to save 11,000 lives a year due to safety concerns with the cost of extra treatment needed following incidents being over £1bn.

At the MP visit, Iain Davidson, Chief Pharmacist at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, demonstrated the benefit of the Trust’s decision to invest in a series of Omnicell systems which automate the administration of medication.  This new approach allows Trusts to track everything back to the patient from the moment the medication is prescribed to when it is administered – ensuring patient safety.

Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay and Vice Chair of the Pharmacy APPG commented: “Technology has a crucial role to play in alleviating many of the challenges faced by the NHS. It’s great to see the pharmacy department at Royal Cornwall Hospital have embraced this and invested in an automated solution to support their medication management process across the Trust. These cabinets ensure that nursing time can be better spent on face to face patient care and significantly reduce the risk of medication errors. This all leads to a greater patient experience.

Paul O’Hanlon, Managing Director of Omnicell UK & Ireland, who facilitated the visit commented;

“It’s great to see that Steve is here today to see at first-hand how important it is to invest in new technology.  Medicine and nursing is a safety critical industry – behind every statistic is someone’s life, it is always someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s daughter.”


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