We’re calling on the government to make sure people in hospital get their medication on time, every time.

We’re relaunching our Get It On Time campaign to mark World Patient Safety Day. In a joint statement with 7 other organisations, we outline how the government can take action to help people get their medication on time in hospital.

We’re working with Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action, National Aids Trust, Parkinson's UK, Rethink Mental Illness and The Richmond Group of Charities with the support of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, to call for the UK government to take action. 

The Parkinson's community have told us their experiences of suffering severe harm to their health when they’ve not received their medication on time while in hospital. This harm can leave people with long term conditions traumatised, and is sometimes irreversible. 

That's why it’s crucial for people with Parkinson’s to get their medication on time. Missed or delayed doses can affect their ability to manage their condition, or worsen their ability to walk, talk, eat or swallow.

And people with Parkinson’s aren’t alone in needing their medication on time. This issue affects those living with diabetes, epilepsy and HIV, as well as some mental health issues. 

Read our joint statement to the government here.

What’s the scale of the problem?

Last year only 42% of people with Parkinson’s admitted to hospital in England received their medication on time.  

Our new report, 'Every minute counts’, reveals the true extent of missed medications for people living with the condition:

  • 1 in 4 NHS trusts in England does not have policies that allow people with Parkinson’s to take their own medication in hospitals.
  • Only 52% of NHS trusts require staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to have training on time critical medication.
  • Despite 81% of NHS trusts in England having e-prescribing systems, only 58% of them are using it to report on whether people with Parkinson’s receive their medication on time.

In our joint statement we're calling on the government to:

  • Have self-administration of medication policies in every hospital across each ward, so that patients who are able to take their own medication on time can do so.
  • Boost the rollout of e-prescribing in hospitals to alert staff when medication is due and use it to monitor and report on missed or delayed doses.
  • Train all hospital ward staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to ensure people reliant on time critical medication get their medication on time, every time.

Julia, whose father passed away after a hospital stay where his medication wasn’t delivered on time told Parkinson’s UK: 

“I don't blame the doctors and nurses for not giving Dad his Parkinson’s medication on time, but I do think they need more training on the importance of time critical medication.”

Juliet Tizzard, Director of External Relations at Parkinson’s UK, said: 

“We believe that no one should fear going into hospital, and we’re here to work with the NHS to make sure people who depend on time critical medication see hospital as a safe place to be. It is time to act now.”