Concerns raised over medication safety at Letterkenny University Hospital


Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter

Letterkenny University Hospital extremely busy this afternoon

Letterkenny University Hospital.

An inspection at Letterkenny University Hospital by the Health Information and Quality Authority has raised concerns over medication safety.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said it identified an immediate high risk relating to a relative lack of leadership, governance, and management of medication safety-related risks as a result of the suspension of the Drugs and Therapeutics Committee over a sustained period of time during an announced inspection.

Hiqa has published the report of the inspection today which took place on August 3rd.

Inspectors found that in the absence of the committee, the hospital had no formulary; no strategic medication safety plan; no clinical pharmacist assigned to the paediatric and midwifery services; lack of an up-to-date, locally approved intravenous monographs at the point of care on both the paediatric and adult wards visited; and a lack of governance with regard to medicines information resources at point of care. The hospital also acknowledged that medication-related incidents were likely to be significantly under-reported at the hospital. Notwithstanding these findings, clinical audit at the Letterkenny University Hospital was centrally coordinated and medication safety audit results were used as the basis for decision-making to support quality improvement medication initiatives which the hospital had implemented.

Due to the risks identified, Hiqa wrote to the hospital to raise concerns over medication safety not being sufficiently supported by senior management and clinicians. Subsequently, Letterkenny University Hospital management team reported to HIQA that a number of measures had been taken to mitigate the risks identified during this inspection.

Hiqa said the hospital must focus its efforts on addressing the risks and findings identified in this report, and work to ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place to protect patients from the risk of medication-related harm.