An apology can defuse an error

Business Dilemmas

Dr Ellie Mein

Dr Ellie Mein explains how to apologise to a patient following a prescription error






Dilemma 1

Do I say sorry for a scrip mistake?

Q I am a private GP and a patient has written to say they believe I overprescribed their medication which subsequently caused them to be admitted to hospital.

The prescription was started by a consultant the patient had seen privately and the dosage error was made when I prescribed a repeat prescription.

Unfortunately, I had not received a letter from the consultant and I wasn’t able to get a hold of them to confirm the correct dosage, so I had to rely on the patient’s recollection.

Should I apologise for the error or would I be admitting legal liability for something that I feel wasn’t my fault?