Patients at Northampton General Hospital (NGH) are urging patients to bring all their own medicines with them for emergency or scheduled visits.
The hospital trust has launched campaign urging those likely to be seated in waiting areas to remember to bring their prescribed medication, including to outpatient clinic visits.
The trust says patients with Parkinsons and diabetes are particularly vulnerable to falling ill if they don't have access to treatment. And those who arrive for appointments having missed taking medicines can be difficult to diagnose.
Pharmacist Siobhan Abrahams said: "Whether your visit is planned or an emergency, you should always bring your routine medicines. It's important that we have as much information about our patients as possible to allow us to make safe decisions about their treatment and care
“If you come into hospital without your medication, missing a dose may make it less effective. It's also possible that the side-effects of missing your medication can make it harder to diagnose the actual cause of why you needed to come into hospital in the first place.
She added: "A lot of patients tell me they didn't bring their own medicine because they assumed the hospital would have it available, but it's much safer for patients to continue using the same medicines they use at home."
While everyone is encouraged to bring thier medications, there are some groups of patients for whom it is especially important:
People who are taking medication for Parkinson’s disease are particularly vulnerable, the hospital says, if they don’t have access to their regular medication. Missing doses can cause serious complications.
People with diabetes missing their regular insulin doses could be affected by their blood glucose levels going dangerously high, which can cause long-term effects such as damage to their eyes or kidneys. It could even mean having to stay in hospital longer than necessary.
People with asthma or pulmonary conditions who don’t have access to their regular medication could see an unnecessary exacerbation of their condition. Bringing in inhalers, the hospital says, prevents delay in treatment as there are many different types of inhalers and it is not possible for the wards to keep all of the varieties in stock.