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Medicines safety overview

The Medicines Safety Improvement Programme (MedSIP) forms one of the core elements of the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, 2019. Its overarching aim is to reduce medication-related harm in health and social care, focusing on high-risk drugs, situations and vulnerable patients. The programme will contribute to the WHO Challenge target (2017) to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm globally by 50% over five years. 

Nationally, three quality improvement priorities have been chosen: 

  1. Improving the safety of medicines administration in care homes 
  2. Reducing inappropriate high-dose opiate prescriptions for non-cancer pain 
  3. Reducing harm from the prescription and supply of Methotrexate 10mg tablets*
    (*to be delivered by the national programme team)

In addition, a further two workstreams will be developed:  

  1. Reducing inappropriate polypharmacy 
  2. Safer use of anticoagulants 

Some other medicines related workstreams came under the AHSNs’ national programmes which ended in 2021. These include PINCER, which supports pharmacists and GPs to identify patients at risk from their medication, and Transfers of Care Around Medicines (TCAM), which helps patients who need extra support in taking prescribed medicines when they leave hospital. 

For further information please contact our medicines safety lead, Geri Briggs: