Transfer of medicines

Patient safety

Partner Organisations

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pfizer Ltd


  • Innovation and adoption

Date Initiated

31 March 2014

Project Status

Regional rollout

The Transfer of Medicines programme aims to implement a process that can facilitate the safe transfer of medicines at both the interface and handover of care. The process will support the medicines reconciliation process to reduce medication-prescribing errors. The Your Green Medicine Bags have been manufactured and resources printed, and were launched region-wide in April 2016.

Programme Outcomes

  • The Your Green Medicine Bags scheme was launched region-wide in April 2016.
  • Development of resources for the regional West Midlands Your Green Medicine Bag scheme has been completed.
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust designed and developed the Green Bag in collaboration with Pfizer, which was adapted for the West Midlands My Green Medicine Bag scheme. 
  • Literature review completed.
  • Process mapping completed for Accident and Emergency and the Clinical Decision Unit at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB).
  • Process mapping completed on the transfer of patient medications with West Midlands Ambulance Service.  
  • A survey to Chief Pharmacists in the West Midlands was completed on the use of green bags and patients' own medicines within their trust in February 2015.
  • A successful stakeholder event was held in April 2015, which was well attended with multi-disciplinary representation from across the West Midlands region. There was good participation and positive engagement, with sharing of ideas and experiences, potential barriers and resources.
  • Measuring the impact of the West Midlands regional Green Bag scheme:
    • A baseline audit was completed in June/July 2015, covering pre-implementation of a regional Green Bag scheme across five hospitals in the West Midlands to determine current level of Green Bags and patients' own medicines brought into emergency departments.
    • An interim audit is planned for three months after implementation in July 2016. The process will then be reviewed and amendments made as necessary. 

The projected outcomes of the programme are to bring benefits for patients, staff and NHS trusts through:

  • The reduction in patient confusion with medication post-discharge and the time spent waiting for discharge medication.
  • To increase 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.
  • The reduction in time spent on drugs administration.
  • To increase cost effectiveness. 

Programme Lead

Dr Jamie Coleman and Bethan Knight
t: 0121 371 8061