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Taranaki DHB urges people to D.U.M.P. medicines safely

Taranaki DHB Patient Safety Week: 6 - 10 November 2017

Taranaki DHB campaign urges people to D.U.M.P. medicines safely

Taranaki DHB is urging people to make their homes safer and protect the environment by taking their unwanted and expired medicines to ANY Taranaki pharmacy for FREE, environmentally-friendly disposal.

This message is part of the Dispose of Unwanted Medicines Properly (D.U.M.P.) campaign, promoted in conjunction with Taranaki DHB’s annual Patient Safety Week (6 - 10 November); the theme of which is medication safety.

Taranaki DHB Pharmacy operations manager, Bevan Clayton-Smith said, “Taranaki DHB takes the safety of patients and the community very seriously and medication safety is a significant part of their health and wellbeing. The D.U.M.P. campaign is a permanent and free service that will enable people to safely dispose of unwanted and expired medications, making their homes a safer place for the entire family.”

Medicines that are expired, or still in date but are no longer needed pose a safety risk. After the expiry date the medicine’s effectiveness is reduced and it can even become toxic. This means taking a medicine after its expiry date may not work and can potentially be harmful.

Returning medicines to a pharmacy, rather than putting them in the rubbish or residential recycling, means they will be disposed of in a safe and environmentally-responsible way.

People are also being encouraged not to share medicines. “Medicines are specially chosen for you and may react differently for someone else. The person you give them to may have allergies or be taking other medicines already that might conflict/interact with what you’re giving them,” added Mr Clayton-Smith.

Posters, flyers and other information provided by hospitals and pharmacies throughout Patient Safety Week will encourage patients to ensure they are fully informed about their treatment by reminding them to ask their doctors, nurses and pharmacists the following questions:

• What is my medicine called?

• What is it for?

• When and how should I take it?

All patients discharged from both hospitals throughout the week will receive a special discharge flyer with these questions on them, as well as important information they need to know about filling their prescriptions and pharmacy services in the region.

Medication safety support will also be available at both Taranaki Base and Hawera Hospital throughout the week, with a ‘medication hot desk’, as well as displays in the main foyers of both hospitals. People will be able to ask hospital staff any questions they have about their medicines, and enter a ‘true or false’ quiz with prizes such as grocery hampers, coffee vouchers and a Huawei smart phone kindly donated by Spark.

Pharmacies throughout Taranaki will be also be promoting the D.U.M.P. campaign.

Patient Safety Week is being held in DHBs throughout New Zealand and is co-ordinated by the Health Quality Safety

Commission (HQSC). For information visit the HQSC Patient Safety Week web page.

ENDS

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