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New errors law 'could protect pharmacists'

By Wesleyan

The Government is considering new legislation that would protect pharmacists that make genuine dispensing errors.

Thousands of patients are accidentally given the wrong medicine each year.

Voluntary reporting by pharmacists puts this figure at 10,000, while academic research suggests it is actually closer to 250,000.

There are also a million more so-called "near misses", where patients almost receive the wrong medicine.

The Department of Health (DoH) wants to encourage candour among pharmacists nationwide by introducing a "no-fault" reporting system, calling on them to put their hands up when they make a mistake.

It would allow blunders to be reported more freely, as well as preventing pharmacists from being prosecuted for genuine dispensing errors.

Various bodies including the Care Quality Commission and the General Pharmaceutical Council have been asked about the proposed changes.

The DoH will consider this feedback before it makes a final decision.

Copyright Press Association 2015

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