Moving Medicines Safely Thanks to Green Bag Scheme

An initiative aimed at allowing NHS Lothian patient medicines to be kept with them from admission and throughout their hospital stay, has been launched following a successful pilot.

The Green Bag initiative is a reusable and resealable bag which enables patients’ medicines to be kept together on the ward and will go with them if they move wards, as well as when they are discharged from hospital.

Using the Green Bag means staff will know exactly what medication patients are on. In addition, hospital pharmacies will not need to supply more medicines, meaning that the hospital discharge process will be quicker for patients too.

Typical Green Bag items can include prescription and over the counter medicines such as tablets, creams, ointments, inhalers, patches and sprays.

Acting Director of Pharmacy for NHS Lothian, Scott Garden, said: “After successful pilots at several of our hospitals, we have received positive feedback about the Green Bag initiative.

“We would encourage all patients being admitted to hospital to use a Green Bag, as it provides easy access to all of their medicines.

“We are confident that the Green Bag will enhance the quality of care, patient experience and minimise waste reduction.”

Paul Bassett, General Manager, South East, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “We fully support the Green Bag initiative and all our ambulance crews in Lothian will carry green bags to give to patients.  The initiative is a simple idea that improves medicine management for patients.”

Green Bags will be given out at pre-admission and outpatient clinics and ambulance staff will use them to collect medicines if patients need to go to hospital in an emergency.