THE death of a Bodenham pensioner who was given a massive morphine overdose at Leominster Community Hospital last year has resulted in an overhaul of drugs administration procedures, writes ANITA HOWELLS.

Richard Taylor, 90, of Siward James Close, had been given 100mg of the pain-killing drug instead of the prescribed 10mg last June, because a doctor's 'unruly' handwriting had been misread by two nurses.

Now Hereford Primary Care Trust, which took over from the Hereford Community Health Trust in October 2000, has introduced new drugs cards to all Hereford hospitals and a new Discharge Information Package has been put in place.

Acting general manager Graham Tarling said: "The Primary Care Trust is developing, along with GPs, improved ways of writing prescriptions, and patient medication is now reviewed more frequently. Other staff training issues have been identified and training programmes are taking place."

He said the trust and the chief pharmacist have also introduced a new medicine management policy at the County Hospital and a new post of 'clinical pharmacist' has been set up in the Primary Care Trust.

"Some of the work which is now taking place will bring about changes in clinical practice and ongoing discussions will continue to ensure that these changes happen safely and always with the aim of improving the quality, care and treatment offered to patients," he added.

Mr Taylor died on June 11 last year following a chain of events complicated by the poorly-written prescription.

At an inquest into Mr Taylor's death in Hereford last month the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.