What is the current practice of medicines reconciliation in children nationally in the UK?
Mr Stephen Tomlin, Consultant Pharmacist – Children's Services, Pharmacy Department, Evelina Children's Hospital, St Thomas Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence/National Patient Safety Agency (NICE/NPSA) guidelines for medicines reconciliation (MR) on admission to hospital in adult inpatients were introduced in 2007, but they excluded children less than 16 years of age.
We conducted a survey of 98 paediatric pharmacists (each from a different hospital) to find out what the current practice of MR in children is in the UK.
Responses showed that 67% (43/64) of pharmacists surveyed carried out MR in all children at admission and only a third 34% (22/64) had policies for MR in children. Of the respondents who did not carry out MR in all children, 80% (4/5) responded that they did so in selected children. Pharmacists considered themselves the most appropriate profession for carrying out MR. When asked whether the NICE guidance should be expanded to include children, 98% (54/55) of the respondents answered ‘yes’.
In conclusion, the findings suggest that MR is being conducted inconsistently in children and most paediatric pharmacists would like national guidance to be expanded to include children.