Epilepsy Action has joined charities calling for improvements to time-critical medication.
The charities are calling on the UK government to keep patients safe in hospital by making sure no one misses a dose of medication.
According to Parkinson’s UK, only 52% of NHS trusts in England require staff responsible for prescribing and administering medication to have training on time-critical medication.
People with conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s often have to take medication when they need it and at a specific time (time-critical medication).
The campaign was launched by Parkinson’s UK with support from Epilepsy Action, Diabetes UK, National Aids Trust, Rethink Mental Illness and the Richmond Group of Charities.
Epilepsy Action’s senior policy and campaigns manager Daniel Jennings said: “Almost half (48%) of people with epilepsy already struggle to control their seizures with medication.
“Not getting their medication on time can impact on people with epilepsy’s seizure control. This can lead to breakthrough seizures, which could have a huge impact on their ability to drive, or, in extreme cases, increase their risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).”
People with conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s have to take medication when they need it and often at a specific time. If a dose is missed or taken late they risk becoming more unwell, sometimes irreversibly.
According to Parkinson’s UK, only 42% of people with Parkinson’s admitted to hospitals in England last year always got their medication on time every time.
It added that 37% of people in hospital who needed insulin for diabetes had at least one insulin error on their drug chart.
A statement from Parkinson’s UK said: “It’s time the UK government took action to ensure that NHS England and partners are supported to create self-administration of medication policies; implement robust electronic prescribing systems to monitor and report if medication is given on time; and provide training on time critical medication for relevant ward staff. Every minute counts.”