Medications were examined on admission to and discharge from hospital in an elderly population. Polypharmacy was documented. Patients were discharged on more medications (4:7) than they were taking prior to admission (4.1). This was statistically significant in men (p < 0.001) but not women. Multiple medication changes were undertaken. Admission drug regimens perceived by patient, admitting hospital doctor and general practitioner were also compared. Of 64 patients who were able to name their medications, only 64% described the same list as admitting doctors and only 43% described the same list as general practitioners. Hospital doctor and general practitioner lists were the same in only 37% of cases. Communication between these 3 groups needs to be optimised.