The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has released a new guidance to support junior doctors when prescribing in hospitals.
RCP guidance, Supporting Junior Doctors in Safe Prescribing, provides a number of key recommendations including greater support from hospital trusts to create safer working environments for junior doctors to prescribe. It also calls for the provision of more practical and interactive prescribing training for junior doctors to help reduce errors.
The guidance highlights the need to address the safety culture around prescribing, by encouraging active efforts to learn from errors, both at an individual and system level. It recommends that postgraduate medical education leads work collaboratively with medication safety officers to identify opportunities to cover safe prescribing within medical education.
According to the college, junior doctors are responsible for two thirds of all hospital prescriptions, with an estimated 7 per cent of all hospital medication orders affected by prescribing errors.
The RCP Director of patient safety and quality improvement, John Dean said that Prescribing of medicines is one of the commonest and most important actions undertaken by medical professionals. It is also one of the commonest areas where error occurs.
He further added that the new guidance is built on published evidence and best practice, and will support medical, pharmacy and education leaders in Trusts to have good systems in place for the safety of patients and staff.
The junior doctor representative of Student and Foundation Doctor Network (SFDN), Josie Cheetham said that as a medical students and foundation doctors they acknowledge the considerable efforts that have been made to support junior doctors in their commitment to being competent prescribers.
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