WMAHSN-supported Green Bag scheme poised to roll out across the West Midlands

Posted on 5 February 2016 (Permalink)

The Green Bag scheme aims to improve patient safety by giving healthcare staff accurate information on patients’ medicines, in particular ensuring that medicines prescribed on admission correspond to those that the patient was taking before admission, where appropriate. The accuracy of the information is supported by the safe transfer of patients’ medicines between care settings, using the easily identifiable Green Bag.

From Monday 4 April, the Green Bag scheme will launch across the whole of the West Midlands. The WMAHSN's transfer of medicines programme encourages patients to take all their own medicines with them if they have to go into hospital. For patients transferred to hospital by West Midlands Ambulance Service, a regional Your green Medicine Bag will be used to bring patients medicines into hospital with them.

The Green Bags keep all the patients' medicines together in a readily identifiable container. Patients’ medicines will move through the care system in the Green Bag with the patient.

Studies have shown that the Green Bag scheme will benefit patients, staff and NHS trusts through:

  • Reduced patient confusion with medication post-discharge and the time spent waiting for discharge medication.
  • The growth in patient involvement with their medication and time for patient care.
  • The reduction in inappropriate prescribing, errors in prescribing, omitted and delayed doses and medicines waste.
  • Less time spent on drugs administration.
  • Increased cost effectiveness. 

To support the launch of the scheme, a Your Green Bag in an emergency and a reminder patient poster have been produced. 

A host of other resources, to enable trusts and clinical commissioning groups to promote the scheme, are available, including: 

  • Template presentation for staff training
  • A presentation that could be uploaded onto screens in GP waiting rooms
  • Healthcare staff posters
  • Patient information leaflets. 

If you have any queries, please contact bethan.knight@uhb.nhs.uk or the Your Green Medicine Bag scheme team at yourgreenmedicinebag.westmidlands@nhs.net.