NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is running a campaign aimed at helping older people to better understand their medicines and feel better as a result.
The My Medicines, My Health campaign is targeting people over the age of 60 who have long term medical conditions by encouraging them to keep all their medicines in one place and taking them with them for medical appointments such as hospital visits.
The campaign introduces the idea of a Green Medicine Bag as a key way of doing this, although any bag or container can be used as long as medicines are kept together in one easy place.
Dr Graham Syers, Alnwick GP and Prescribing lead for Northumberland CCG, explained the campaign was to help older people who might have several long term health issues and therefore be on several medicines at once.
He said: “We all want to stay healthy so we can carry on doing the things we enjoy in life. To stay healthy, it’s important that you take all your medicines in the right way - and at the right time.
“If you are over 60 and have long-term health conditions, you probably take a lot of different medicines, both prescribed and otherwise. We understand that keeping up with them can sometimes be challenging as they often change, especially when you visit the doctor, have a hospital admission or even visit the pharmacy.
“To help you keep all your medicines in one place and keep on top of what medicines you are actually taking, we are now encouraging all patients over 60 in the region to use a Green Medicine Bag, or simply one bag or a container – and keep them safe in one place.”
He continued: “Because some medicines can interact, it’s crucial that all your prescribed and non-prescribed medicines are in one place so that medical staff can see what you are taking.
“Get into the habit of using a bag like the Green Medicine Bag. Tell family members and anyone who cares for you where you keep it, so it can easily be found in an emergency.”
My Medicines, My Health campaign has been funded by Northumberland CCG in partnership with other NHS organisations in the North East.
The campaign will be on regional TV adverts, radio, social media, and in shopping centres.
Find out more at: www.mymedicinesmyhealth.org.uk and on Twitter @NHSmymedicines.