Patients are at risk of being prescribed overdoses because some hospital scales still show imperial measurements, a former president of the Royal Society of Medicine has warned.
At question time on 25 February 2010, Lord Walton of Detchant pointed to a survey showing the number of hospitals that had not fully converted to metric measurements.
He told peers: "The dosage of many powerful drugs is now calculated according to the weight in kilograms of the recipient and if in error such a calculation used imperial units there is a serious risk of either underdosage or, more importantly, overdosage."
He said the Local Authority Coordinator of Regulatory Services had carried out a survey which showed "30% of weighing machines in hospitals were switchable between metric and imperial units and a staggering 10% were switched to imperial units only".
Baroness Thornton, a junior health minister, said that the government was "issuing a new alert in March" following one last year.
"It is a very, very important issue we have to get right," she added.