Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Boots pharmacy dispensed double drugs amount, inquest hears

An administrative mix-up may have led to an 84-year-old man receiving double the quantity of drugs he was normally prescribed, an inquest hears.

Richard Lee, from Norton in Doncaster, was inadvertently given two lots of his medication by Boots pharmacies.

His daughter said he probably thought he had to take all of the drugs in an attempt to avoid causing "a fuss".

A toxicologist said while drugs were found in his system they were not necessarily the cause of his death.

House clearance discovery

Mr Lee was discovered collapsed on the floor of his bedroom on 15 December 2016 and died holding his daughter's hand, five hours after being admitted to hospital, the inquest at Doncaster Coroner's Court heard.

His daughter Gail Pickles said she came across the medication while clearing out her father's house in the wake of his death.

She said Boots pharmacy in Askern, Doncaster, had agreed to supply his medication - which included the antidepressant dosulepin and a range of drugs to reduce blood pressure.

These were supplied in Medisure packs to be taken by him over a course of four weeks, the inquest heard.

Prescription transfers

The Askern branch was suddenly unable to process his prescription in November 2016 and responsibility was handed over to another Boots pharmacy on Frenchgate in Doncaster.

Carol-Anne McGhee, a receptionist at the Askern Medical Practice, described how a request from the Frenchgate Boots for a repeat prescription for Mr Lee was first received and processed on 21 November 2016.

A short while later the handling of the medication was transferred to a third Boots pharmacy attached to the Askern Medical Practice of which Mr Lee was a patient, the inquest heard.

On 5 December 2016 Mrs McGhee was told by the pharmacist at the Askern branch that they were taking over from Frenchgate, and another repeat prescription was then processed.

Mr Lee was consequently given two lots of medication about a week before his death.

Mrs Pickles told the court he would have thought he was "expected to" take them all, and would not have wanted to "cause a fuss".

She said in the days preceding his death her father had seemed subdued and tired and she had been forced to repeat herself a number of times.

The inquest continues and is expected to take three days.

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