Your Medicines Matter

Graphics of medicine bottles, packets, pills, inhaler and cream in white, red, greens and blues colours

At University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust we ask patients to bring their own medicines in from home when they are coming to stay in hospital if this is possible.

The advantages of this are:

  • The hospital staff looking after you will have a complete record of all the medicines you are taking. 
  • It will allow the nurses to make sure that you do not miss any doses, as the right medicine is available at the right time.
  • You will continue to receive familiar medicine during your hospital stay.
  • It can make going home quicker and easier.
  • It will reduce wastage of medicines in the NHS and help to reduce our impact on the environment.


What shall I bring with me?

Please bring all your medication into hospital in the original containers including: 

  • Tablets and capsules
  • Liquids
  • Creams and ointments
  • Inhalers
  • Sprays
  • Insulin
  • Eye drops, ear drops, nose drops
  • Injections
  • Medication patches
  • Compliance aid boxes
  • Any Clinical Trial medication you may be on
  • Medication that has been bought by you or for you for example herbal products or health remedies or medication you buy from the chemist, supermarkets or health food shops.

If you have left your medication at home when you come into hospital, please ask a relative or friend to bring it in with them at their next visit.


What happens when I come into hospital?

When you come into hospital a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or pharmacy technician will check your medicines to find out what you are taking and how often. Sometimes more than one person will look at them. They may also ask your permission to contact your GP for more details. If we find that some of your medicines are no longer needed or are not suitable, we will ask permission to remove them and explain why. If you still have supplies at home of the medicines that have been stopped, please give them to your local community pharmacist for safe disposal. If there has been a change in dose of your medicine, we will re-label or re-supply it with new instructions.


Can I use my own medicines during my stay in hospital?

Yes. Where possible, we will use your medicines and replace them if needed when you go home. Your medicines will be stored in a lockable cabinet at your bedside. Your nurse will have a key to this cabinet and will give you your medicines during your stay.


Going home from hospital

When you are ready to go home the medicines that the doctors think you no longer need will be shown to you to ask your permission for them to be destroyed on the ward.

If you have less than 14 days’ supply of any of your medicines left, we will give you an additional supply to take home with you.

If any new medicines have been started during your hospital stay, we will also give you a supply of these to take home. This will allow time for your GP to receive the discharge letter which we will send them with information of any changes to your medication.

If you have a blister pack/dosette box, we will also be contacting your community pharmacy and GP to send the discharge letter to them electronically.

You may take home a mixture of your own medicines and those supplied by the hospital. If this is the case, please take extra care as some packaging of the same medication/strength may look different.

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