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Patients Own Drugs (PODS)


The use of Patients' Own Drugs (PODS) is part of the recommendations for NHS modernisation for Medicines Management and Pharmacy highlighted in the NHS Plan.

PODs are used extensively in the Trust.

A number of advantages can be seen:

  • Familiarity of patient's own medicines reduces confusion for the individual.

  • Derby Teaching Hospitals encourages reuse of medicines and will support you to take your own medicines while you are in hospital, rather than a nurse routinely giving them to you.

  • Self-medication increases patient's knowledge and understanding of their medicines, it also encourages patients to take more responsibility for their health.

  • Often patients have their own routine for taking their medicines; self-medication helps patients to stay as near to this routine as possible and allows for re-education if their routine is incorrect.

  • Many medicines have to be taken at specific times related to food, to increase their effectiveness or to decrease side effects; e.g. flucloxacillin is better absorbed if taken on an empty stomach and diclofenac is best taken with food to avoid gastric irritation, medicines for Parkinsonism are often better taken a couple of hours before getting up in a morning and Insulin needs to be given before meals.

  • Traditional drug rounds cannot always accommodate these needs, but self-medication and the use of patient's own drugs can.       

  •  Hospital resources are also wasted; the hospital pharmacy supply drugs for the use on the ward and then supplies the same drugs for the patients to take home. In many cases, the patients' own supplies would have sufficed.

  • Drug rounds take less time if patients are self-medicating; this means more quality nursing time can be spent with each patient.

  • A patient medicine bag or ‘green bag’ as they have become known is a reusable green bag for putting medicines in.

    Use of the green bag system can save time, money, lives and helps to ensure that medicines stay with the patient during movement round the hospital. Green bags are provided by EMAS, Assessment areas and pre-clerking clinics.

  • We encourage all patients to take part in self administration, where appropriate, but it is not compulsory and it is your choice if you do not want to participate – please tell the nurse looking after you. As your needs change during your stay, it may become necessary for the nurse to take over administering your medicines for a short time; wherever possible you will be involved in this decision.


Click here for the Self administration of medicines patient leaflet

What does this mean for me, as a patient?

For more information, click here