Medicines management is changing: standardised drug bags on the horizon

Yellow kit bag

Making sure that patient-facing staff have the drugs and medicines they need to do their jobs is vital.

Every day, thousands of people across the east of England are cared for and treated by our staff and our medicines – but how we then restock those medicines varies hugely depending on where you are in the region.

So, the Trust is looking at how we can manage our medicines more safely, whether they’re controlled drugs, prescription only medicines or other drugs that we use. The plans won’t come into play until next year, but here’s an insight into what’s on the cards.

What’s the plan?

One part of the project is working towards a ‘make-ready’ model for a drugs bag that will be standardised across the Trust; we’re configuring the bag at the moment, but it will eventually mean that whatever locality you work in, you’ll use the same drugs bag, stocked with the same number of drugs, and laid out in the same way, as those at the other end of the region.

We’re currently working through what that bag might look like in terms of content, and in the next few weeks will be asking for your opinion – so watch this space.

The team will then be looking into how crews restock drugs when on shift; we’ll be sharing  those plans as soon as we can, but the likelihood is that there will be a number of ‘cells’ across the patch where you can restock as you need to.

Why are we doing it?

At the moment there are a lot of discrepancies across the Trust in how drugs are picked up, restocked and stored. At the moment, our current system doesn’t support the best system or processes for our patients, the organisation and you as clinicians. So looking at how we manage those medicines, and trying to standardise how we do things across all areas, means our drugs will be more secure.

What are the next steps?

The medicines management team will be consulting with staff on the new drug bag prototype, and we’ll be sharing regular updates in Need to Know to keep you posted on progress.

We’re also creating some information pages on East24 (intranet) to make sure you’re regularly updated and informed on what we’re doing.

It’s still early days in the project so please bear with us, but we will keep you in the loop to make sure you get the chance to help shape the plans.

Published 22nd October, 2015

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