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By NOAH
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No one should fear going into hospital and it’s time for the government to take action, warns Parkinson’s UK

Juliet Tizzard, Director of External Relations

Juliet Tizzard, Director of External Relations | Parkinson's UK

3 min read Partner content

Parkinson’s UK is calling on the UK government to take action to prevent severe harm to millions of patients who are not receiving their vital medication on time while in hospital, as part of its Get It On Time campaign.

Shocking insights

Damning insights from charity Parkinson’s UK in its report, ‘Every minute counts’, reveal the true extent of missed medications for people living with the condition.  

The report highlights that 58% of people with Parkinson's didn’t receive their medication on time when admitted to hospital in England last year, despite there being practical solutions for the NHS in England to solve this crisis.

Missed or even slightly delayed doses can cause worsening of symptoms, affect talking, swallowing and walking, cause stress and anxiety and lengthen hospital stays. Missed doses can even be fatal. Data from Freedom of Information requests sent to NHS Hospital Trusts in England by Parkinson’s UK found:

  • Just half (52%) of NHS Trusts provide training on time-critical medication to hospital ward staff.
  • One in four NHS Trusts does not have policies that allow people to take their own medication in hospitals.
  • NHS Trusts are not required to monitor or report missed or delayed doses of medication and, therefore, are unaware of the need to take action.

Widespread issue

This is not just an issue for people with Parkinson’s: many other health conditions, affecting millions of patients in the UK, require medication to be taken at specific times. That’s why Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action, National AIDS Trust, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, The Richmond Group, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and Rethink Mental Illness are joining Parkinson’s UK in calling on the Government to:

  • Have self-administration of medication policies in every hospital (where it is safe to) so that patients who are able to take their own medication on time can do so.
  • Boost the rollout of e-prescribing in hospitals to alert staff when medication is due and use it to monitor and report on missed or delayed doses.
  • Train all hospital ward staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to ensure people reliant on time critical medication get their medication on time, every time.

It’s time to act

The NHS is under intense pressure, with staff more stretched than ever. The UK government must make it a priority for the NHS to take these three steps to make sure people with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, diabetes and HIV get their medication on time, every time, when in hospital. 

Not tackling this issue will hamper attempts to recover elective care services, cut waiting lists, and increase demand for social care services that are already under extreme pressure.

For further information about the campaign and to support the joint action to urge the Minister responsible to make medication management a priority for patient safety, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/get-it-on-time 

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