Skip navigation

David Gerrett NHS England gives National Update on Reducing Medication Errors

David Gerrett Senior Pharmacist, Medication Safety Team NHS England gaves National Update on Reducing Medication Errors at today’s conference. David discussed:

  • the development of the National Medication Safety Network
  • improving the number, quality, timeliness of reports
  • maximising local learning and actions
  • improving adherence to the Patient Safety Alert on improving medication error incident reporting and learning
  • developing the role of the medication safety officer

David Gerrett full presentation is available for download at the end of this page

In his presentation David stated:

"Change is really difficult to do in the NHS because we are a top down organisation of more than 1.3million People.  The second biggest in the world."

"In the last two and a half years, we've had 41,000 errors reported."

"We're moving to a pattern of what is going to happen around error and this will be top down, nationally."

"Patient Safety is going to move out of NHS England probably within the year, we don't know where, but we think it is going to be an entity outside of the system."

"When we were the NPSA, we were guidance only, we couldn't say 'you must do this'. This is the first time we had this much teeth."

"There is no doubt in my mind that for medicines pharmacy has been tryin trying trying tot help everybody be better at medicines but actually it has kept it in its own sphere of influence and that has hampered things."

"It's a cultural thing, it's one of those professions that needs to be helped to understand how to interact well in a multi disciplinary approach. If 80% of administrations is nurses, that's where the efforts should go."

"So much is changing you get pockets of excellence and it's the pockets of excellence who are invited to talk to MSOs when something goes wrong and it's the MSOs who hold that information and the majority of them are pharmacists. It's the good practice that comes through and disseminating what we've got is the way forward."

"The person working at the coal face and the patient have to be the face of all this."

"The average MSO has ten years experience and practice in patient safety and error but they only have an average of six hours practice in that a week. And that's restrictive but we have to work with that. They have got to try to fit things in."

"Everybody has to own the problem and it's despairing but what you hear most is people fighting the system to do the right thing. NHS England is empowered but it can't possible come down on every local system and say 'this is what we want you to do'. We need professionals to be professionals and take ownership of what needs to be done."

"We need to have everyone involved including patients for it to have the necessary impact, but we need to have that buy in locally and it's got to come from the top to the bottom."


Future related events:

Medicines Optimisation: Ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines
Monday 21 September 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre


Non-Medical Prescribing for Pain
Tuesday 22 September 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre


Electronic Prescribing In Hospitals: Moving Forward
Tuesday 6 October 2015 
Colmore Conference Centre


Reducing Medication Errors: Improving Patient Safety: Towards Zero Tolerance
Friday 27 November 2015 
ICO Conference Centre



Download: David Gerrett full presentation

1 July 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences