Some hospitals using items expired almost 10 years ago – health audit
The health audit of the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) has shown that facilities were using items which expired almost 10 years ago.
The situation is being blamed on the absence of a proper inventory and record keeping system at the various wards of the facility.
The findings are contained in the audit of the regional health authorities that was released on Friday after being suppressed by the government.
The North East Regional Health Authority covers the parishes of St Ann, Portland and St Mary.
The audit report noted that across the three parishes, the supply of a number of critical pharmaceuticals was at times, less than 50 per cent of what was demanded.
However, the report states that if there were suitable records management, this problem would not have existed.
The auditors said a physical count of the stores at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital Operating Theatre revealed that there were items present which were no longer being utilised by the theatre.
It said some of the items, which expired from as far back as 2006, were in storage and resulting in excess.
However, the auditors were concerned that items in excess, including those which have expired, were removed to the pharmacy stores for redistribution.
Meanwhile, it was also revealed that wards at the St Ann's Bay Hospital were requesting supplies on the same day they were needed.
The audit says the resources delivered are based on the discretion of the pharmacy staff because orders are not specific.
The auditors say there is an urgent need for improvement in the inventory and record keeping system of pharmaceuticals and sundries at the various ward areas to prevent shortages and items being incorrectly listed as out of stock.
The National Health Fund, is also being called upon to intensely monitor and manage its procurement process to ensure timely delivery of pharmaceuticals to the hospitals to minimise the number of items listed as out of stock.