Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham pharmacy ordered to improve after drug mix-up

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Media captionEdlie Masters, 83, from Birmingham, ordered paracetamol to numb pain caused by an ulcer on his foot but was given another patient's prescription

A pharmacy has been told to improve its procedures after a grandfather who was given the wrong medication died.

Edlie Masters, 83, from Birmingham, ordered paracetamol to numb pain caused by an ulcer on his foot but was given another patient's prescription.

Assistant coroner Heidi Connor recorded a verdict of accidental death and asked Hurcomb Chemists to put policies in place to stop it happening again.

The pharmacy refused to comment when contacted by the BBC.

'Tremendous impact'

Speaking on behalf of the family after the hearing in Birmingham, Mr Masters' son Leon said they felt let down.

"We are devastated by the loss of our father and grandfather in such tragic and avoidable circumstances," he said.

"Watching him deteriorate in hospital was horrendous and his death has and continues to have a tremendous impact on us as a family."

Mr Masters lived alone in Winson Green.

Solicitors representing the family said pharmacist Matthew Hurcomb contacted him after realising he had given him the wrong medication and told him there would be no adverse affects.

But Mr Masters was taken to City Hospital and died on 18 August due to the interaction between the medication wrongly given to him, which was used to treat high blood pressure, and his usual medication for his kidney condition, the law firm said.

Phil Barnes of Access Legal, representing the family, said after the hearing: "There is no excuse for failing to check that the correct medication is given to the right patient because doing so can result in a tragedy such as this.

"Mr Masters' death was avoidable and highlights the importance of following basic medical practices and procedures."

A spokesman for the General Pharmaceutical Council said: "We have been made aware of the assistant coroner's verdict in regards to Mr Edlie Robert Masters.

"We will decide how to proceed once we have received the prevention of future deaths report and have had a chance to consider it."