We like to help you to be responsible for taking your own medicines while in hospital, using a system known as self-administration.

This page provides information on the self-administration of medicines.

On this ward we like to help you to be responsible for taking your own medicines while in the hospital, using a system known as self-administration.

Self-administration helps you to better understand your medicines and the reasons for taking them. This means that you should be able to manage your medication after you have been discharged from the hospital.

Self-administration is not compulsory, so you do not have to take part. If you choose not to take part, a nurse will give you your medicines in the normal way and give you information about them for when you go home. If you agree to take control of your medication, a nurse or pharmacist will explain to you all you need to know about your medicines and what they are for. You will be given a medication information card as part of the information you receive.

If you already take regular medication, we will help you to start with these, if they are suitable. This would allow you to get used to a new routine using familiar medicines and their containers. Any new or different medicines will be given to you by the hospital pharmacy.

Levels of self-administration

There are 2 levels of self-administration. A nurse will complete an assessment that will determine what level of control of your medication is right for you at this time.

Level 2

This level is where you will tell the nurse that it is the appropriate time to take your medication. The nurse will supervise you taking your medicine.

If you are going to be self-administering at Level 2 you will not have a key to the locker where your medication is kept. A nurse will wait for you to ask for your medication but will remind you if you forget.

Level 3

You will have a key to your medication locker and you will have access to your medicines without supervision.

  • Please keep your medicines locked away and the key in a safe place
  • If a visitor or other patient tries to take your medicines, tell a nurse straight away
  • Never share your medication with anyone else
  • If you forget to take a dose of medication, tell a nurse
  • Do not take more medication than the dose prescribed for you
  • Your pharmacist or a nurse will check your medication before you go home
  • A nurse will explain the medication to you on discharge and answer any questions that you may have. Do not pack your medication into your bag before this has happened
  • Please return your key to a nurse before you go home

Additional information

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach of children
  • Medicines can be dangerous if not properly used
  • Do not exceed the dose prescribed for you.

If you have any concerns please speak to a member of the nursing team or your pharmacist.

Reference number GHPI1358_05_22
Department Pharmacy
Review due May 2025