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Patients urged to ‘open up’ to get the most from their medicines

Open Up About Medicines logoA new campaign is under way to help patients make best use of their prescription medicines.

Hundreds of GPs and community pharmacists across Berkshire and Oxfordshire are backing the ‘Open up about medicines’ initiative.

Campaign coordinator Lindsey Roberts said: “There are two main messages for patients. Firstly, we want them to open up their medicines bags when they collect them and check everything inside is what they need. Secondly, we’re encouraging people to be more open in their conversations with their doctor or pharmacist. This will ensure patients get the right medicines, reduce waste and save the NHS money that can be invested back into frontline services.”

Lindsey is Medicines Optimisation Clinical Network Manager at the Oxford Academic Health Science Network which is running the ‘Open up about medicines’ campaign with GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Orla McBride, Prescribing Support Pharmacist for Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Open up about medicines helps patients make informed decisions about their treatment. It encourages them to talk to their GP or pharmacist about what medicines they take – and the ones they don’t. The Medicines Optimisation team supporting the Berkshire West CCGs wants to minimise medicines wastage through non-compliance or unnecessary ordering.”

Claire Critchley, Lead Pharmacist for Medicines Optimisation at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “The ‘Open up about medicines’ campaign is part of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s commitment to driving down medicines waste and ensuring people use their medicines safely. The campaign empowers patients to take more responsibility for their medicines and management of their condition.”

‘Open up about medicines’ was originally developed by Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Leaflets, posters and other information are being distributed to GP practices and pharmacies.