Patient Information

Reducing waste of medicines delivered via homecare


This offers information for anyone who has medicine(s) delivered to them via homecare.   

Why are you giving me this information?

Once your medicine has been delivered to your home, it cannot be used by anyone else. If you cannot use it for any reason, it has to be disposed of as waste.

The information below will help to make sure that medicines are not wasted.

Side effects and allergies

If you experience a bad reaction to your medicines, stop using them. Contact your consultant or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) immediately.


  • If you have concerns about your medicines, do not accept delivery until you have discussed your concerns with your healthcare professional.
  • Always give accurate information to the homecare company when they ask you how much medicine you have left at home. This helps avoid unnecessary deliveries and reduces waste.
  • Be available on your delivery day to accept your medicines.

Using a fridge to store your medicines

  • If you need to use a fridge, check it regularly to make sure it is working properly.
  • If your fridge breaks down or you forget to put your medicines in the fridge, contact the hospital. You might still be able to take your medicines (instead of throwing them away).
  • If there is a power cut, do not remove your medicines from the fridge unless you can transfer them to a working fridge. Instead, leave them in your fridge and keep the fridge door closed. A standard domestic fridge will keep cold for 2 to 4 hours if you do not open the door.

Treatment pauses

  • If your doctor recommends that you have a temporary pause from treatment, do not throw away your medicine unless your clinical team tells you to.
  • Store your medicines correctly. You may be able to start using them again later on.
  • During this pause, tell your homecare company not to send any more deliveries of your medicine until you start using the medicine again.
  • If you have expired medicines, contact the homecare company for collection and safe disposal. Do not put expired medicines in the bin or down the sink or toilet.

Device failure

  • If a pen or device stops working, contact the homecare company for advice. You can find the telephone number in the welcome letter or patient information pack you received when you started using the medicine.
  • Your homecare company will tell you how to return the faulty device and organise a replacement for you.

Switching or stopping medicines

  • If you think your medicine has stopped working for you, or you are switching to a new medicine, do not accept another delivery. Discuss your concerns with your consultant or CNS.
  • If you permanently stop using your medicines, return them to the homecare company for safe disposal.

More information


For more information, call the Kingston Hospital Medicines Helpline, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

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020 8934 2092

Translate Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation.
Accessibility Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 8934 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For information accessibility please visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust
Support services

Visit the hospital website, ask a member of staff, or ring us for details.


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Please speak to a member of staff before or during your visit to the hospital if you require translation support to access Patient Information. Please ring the phone number on your appointment letter, if you have one.

Request More Information


Please contact the Patient Experience Team on 020 893 3850 if you need this information in a different format.
For detailed information on accessibility at Kingston Hospital visit Kingston Hospital AccessAble (https://www.accessable.co.uk/kingston-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust).

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