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Pharmacy staff confident in following incident reporting procedures

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Pharmacy staff confident in following incident reporting procedures

Pharmacy staff feel confident following procedures to report patient safety incident, a new survey suggests.

The survey on safety incident reporting culture was carried out by the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group last autumn. It reveals that over 90 per cent of staff feel the reporting procedure in their workplace is clear or very clear, with a similar proportion saying they feel confident following reporting procedures correctly.

Ninety-five per cent of respondents said they report errors in order to improve practice, while 80 per cent said they do so in order to help other learns from mistakes.

However, 59 per cent said they wished their workplace had simpler reporting tools, with a third saying training in incident reporting would be helpful.

Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they were aware of the legal defence from prosecution for inadvertent dispensing errors that was introduced in 2018. Of these, 29 per cent said they were more likely to report errors as a result of this.

 CPSG chair Victoria Steele said: “Community pharmacies deliver incredibly safe care. It will never be possible to eliminate all patient safety incidents in healthcare settings, including pharmacies, but reporting errors is essential if teams are to understand, investigate, learn from and ultimately prevent future incidents. 

“We are really pleased to see high levels of confidence in reporting procedures and that teams are motivated to report errors in order to improve practice and share learnings. We note with interest that changes to the law have encouraged colleagues to report errors, however there is work to do to ensure all colleagues are aware of these changes. 

“Whilst the results are promising, respondents also highlighted particular areas to support the reporting process including simpler reporting tools and increased training. We encourage contractors and policy makers to take this on board.  

“In recent years, many within the pharmacy sector have also raised concerns about growing pressures on the community pharmacy workforce and its potential impact on patient safety. To enable colleagues to learn from errors, it is vital that pharmacy team members feel able to share when things go wrong, and businesses should instil a culture of openness and transparency to support this.”

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