Coming in for an operation, procedure or delivery?

Bringing your medications into hospital

Burnside Hospital encourages patients to bring their own medications from home into hospital. When you are to be admitted to Burnside Hospital, please bring with you all of your current medications in their original labelled containers and your current medication list if you have one.  


Why should I bring in my own medications?

Bringing your medications into hospital will assist hospital staff to:

  • Have a complete and accurate picture of what medications you are taking and ensure continuity of these medications.
  • Make sure you are provided with/administered the correct medications in hospital.
  • Identify any problems that you may be having with your current medications.
  • Enable you to take the brand of medication you are familiar with (where appropriate).

What medications should I bring to hospital?

You should bring with you all medications you have been taking prior to hospital admission as well as your Medication List (if available). This includes:

  • Medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Medications you have purchased from a pharmacy or supermarket (e.g. pain relief medications, cold & flu medications, creams and lotions etc).
  • Complementary and alternative medicines (e.g. medicinal products containing herbs, vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, homoeopathic medicines, traditional Chinese medicines, Ayurvedic medicines & Australian indigenous medicines).

Please bring in medications in their original packs and enough supply for your anticipated hospital stay.

What will happen to my medications?

When you come into hospital, staff will collect your medications and a hospital staff member (pharmacist, doctor, or nurse/midwife) will go through your medications with you to discuss what medications you have been taking and if you have had any problems with any of them.

Your medications will be stored safely and securely at all times within your room, and will continue to be given to you during your hospital stay as ordered by the doctor, and then returned to you on discharge.        

Drugs of Dependence will need to be stored in a safe and checked for correctness as per legislation.

What if I forget to bring in all of my medications?

Your family/carer will be asked to bring in your medications as your doctor needs them to determine what medications you have been taking, and to order them for ongoing treatment.

Will my medications be used while I’m in hospital?

Your own medication will be used while you’re in hospital and will never be used for any other patient.

Some medications that you bring in may not be suitable for hospital use (e.g. medications in dosettes, Webster packs™, expired medications, medications not in their own packages). Staff will check your medications on admission to make sure they are suitable to use during your hospital stay.

What if I need new medications or there are changes to my usual medications?

Any medication started during your hospital stay will be supplied by the hospital and you will be invoiced for these on discharge (depending on your type of health cover).

If your dose changes but the medication remains the same, your medications may be re-labelled by the Clinical Pharmacist with the new instructions.

What if I run out of my own medications while in hospital?

If you require more of your current medication during your hospital stay or on discharge, your doctor and the hospital pharmacy will organise a supply for you and you will be invoiced for these on discharge (depending on your type of health cover).

You will need to bring your Medicare card and any pension/concession cards (including your Safety Net card) into hospital with you.

What will happen when I go home?

Hospital staff will review the medications you have been taking while in hospital and will tell you which medications you should take when you return home.

Your own medication will be returned to you when you leave hospital, along with any additional medications provided for you by the hospital. If your medications are no longer suitable for use, hospital staff may dispose of your unwanted medication, with your consent.

Please make sure you update your medication list with any changes to your medications when you leave hospital. You may be provided with a Medication Management Plan if you have complex medications.

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner before proceeding with any procedure.
Important update for patients and visitors regarding COVID-19

With SA Health announcing recently that we are in a new phase of COVID-19 pandemic, in consultation with members of the Medical Executive Committee, Burnside Hospital has implemented a restricted visitor policy effective from 15th March 2020.

Please read more about how we are restricting access to the hospital to keep our patients and staff safe.

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Important update for patients and visitors regarding COVID-19