February 04, 2010 -- Able Newsflash No.205

Care News

A Report from Housing 21 has shown that there are still many pensioners who should receive benefits who are not claiming. The Report "A World of Difference" calls for local authorities, health authorities, housing and care service providers to develop advice services and to encourage staff to direct people towards their financial entitlements.

Many patients in the UK do not take the drugs prescribed to them for various reasons. Some patients have multiple medications on repeat prescription and continue ordering and collecting all of them, even the ones they no longer use. In other cases drugs are only prescribed in case certain symptoms occur such as an asthma attack or pain after an operation, and so may never be required.

When patients pass away, especially older patients who tend to take daily medications, they often leave a surplus of drugs behind them which tend to be binned by the family. The Department of Health estimates that as much as �800 million worth of medicine prescribed in primary care is wasted every year. If hospital and other secondary care prescriptions were also taken into account this figure would be significantly higher still. Currently the UK government has no recycling scheme for unused drugs and the majority of unwanted medication is thrown away by patients or taken to the pharmacy for incineration.

Inter Care � Medical Aid for Africa is a UK registered charity which collects unused medications from GP�s surgeries in the UK and then delivers them free of charge to over 100 health centres in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Patients deliver their unwanted drugs to registered GP surgeries and these are then collected by Inter Care and quality-control checked by a panel of volunteer doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Certain medications cannot be recycled by Inter Care and these are disposed of as clinical waste.

Drugs which can be used are checked to ensure that they are at least 15 months from expiry and are housed in their original packaging with no visible signs of tampering. Suitable drugs are then packaged and sent at regular intervals to the African health centre which have requested them.

Inter Care was founded in 1974 by a couple called Dr David Rosenburg and Dr Patricia O'Keefe. Working as GPs in Leicestershire they saw first-hand the wasting of medication occurring in the UK whilst at the same time learning from friends about severe shortages of drugs in Africa. This injustice galvanized them into action and they started collecting unused medications.

How can I help? If this has sparked your interest, there are several ways to help Inter Care continue its work. Firstly, check with your GP surgery to see if they are registered with Inter Care and if they are not, encourage them to look at the Inter Care website and do so.

Secondly, if you do know of anyone with suitable unused medication ask them to take it to a registered surgery for recycling. For further information visit: http://www.intercare.org.uk

In-House News

A prospective client has been visited in Norfolk.

Two "pop in" visits have taken place in Norfolk.

New posts have commenced in:

Interesting Information / Statistics

Question of the Week
"I would like to buy my teenage grandson a wheelchair that "can do everything" in that it can travel over all sorts of ground and on the beach. Is it possible to buy one in the UK?"

Answer : Versatile wheelchairs that can be used on the path, round the garden, on the beach, on rough ground, inside of the house, etc., can be bought in the UK and there are several firms that offer them. However, before purchasing one I would suggest that your grandson might like to get in touch with an organisation that can offer advice to anyone thinking of purchasing a wheelchair, RADAR. They can be contacted by phoning 020 7250 3222 and you can ask for a copy of their booklet "Get Mobile" which gives helpful advice and information. It can also be obtained from the RADAR website at: http://www.radar.org.uk

It is estimated that at least 100 million children, teens and adults worldwide need a wheelchair but cannot afford one.
(Source: Wheelchair Foundation)

We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.