Medicines Quality and Safety
Medicines are the most common intervention in healthcare but can also cause severe harm if not used appropriately. Medication safety is everyone's responsibility - we need to work together to ensure that we keep our patients safe.
This webpage is aimed at health and care professionals working across all sectors in BNSSG to highlight any national or local medicines safety resources to promote and support safer practice.
To give any feedback, suggestions for content/resources for this webpage or for more information please contact the BNSSG Medicines Optimisation Team: email@example.com
BNSSG Medication Safety Officer (MSO) contact emails:
- BNSSG ICB: firstname.lastname@example.org
- UHBW: Georgina.Holmes@uhbw.nhs.uk
- NBT: email@example.com
- AWP: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sirona: email@example.com
For further information on Medication Safety, and support and guidance resources for Medication Safety Officers (MSOs) please see the Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) website.
Datix Concerns Reporting
Datix Concerns Reporting - reporting tool is the way clinicians and staff inform BNSSG Integrated Care Board (ICB) of issues regarding patient care across BNSSG. Datix reporting tool can be accessed via a web link and helps the identification of themes affecting quality or safety of patient care. Themes will be followed up by the quality or medicines optimisation team with providers and any learning will be shared more widely. Provider organisations will also have their own reporting systems.
Medicines in pregnancy, children and lactation
Medicines in pregnancy, children and lactation - there is a wealth of information for clinicians to use when considering medications prescribed for use in pregnancy, while breast feeding and with children. It isn't always easy to find this information in one place. This website has been shared with permission from Somerset ICB who have put together guidance and links for clinicians to use when making appropriate decisions with their patients. This information and links provided are for guidance, clinical decisions remain the responsibility of the practitioner; the intention is to help prescribers find evidence-based information and does not replace input from appropriate professionals or constitute medical advice for individual patients. (N.B. some of these resources include Somerset specific guidelines as well as those national resources).
Further information on Prescribing in pregnancy and breast feeding can also be found on Remedy.
Yellow Card (MHRA)
Yellow Card (MHRA) - the Yellow Card reporting site is where healthcare professionals as well as patients and the public can report suspected adverse effects to medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes, medical device events, defective or falsified (fake) products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure safe and effective use.
MHRA Drug Safety Updates
MHRA Drug Safety Updates - this is the monthly newsletter from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and its independent advisor the Commission on Human Medicines.
MHRA Central Alerting System (CAS alerts)
MHRA Central Alerting System (CAS alerts) - the Central Alerting System (CAS) is a web-based cascading system for issuing patient safety alerts, important public health messages and other safety critical information and guidance to the NHS and others, including independent providers of health and social care.
Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS)
Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) - SPS are commissioned and funded by NHSE and their main purpose is to improve the use of medicines. SPS website joins together experts to create a rich source of impartial advice for pharmacists and other professionals using medicines. Healthcare professionals in primary care can now get in touch with SPS for medicines advice using a single contact number (0300 770 8564) and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Care Quality Commission (CQC) - The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Its role is to register providers and to check, through inspection and ongoing monitoring, that standards are being met. As part of CQCs statutory responsibilities it works to oversee the safer management of controlled drugs. This involves publishing an annual report on controlled drugs and also maintaining a national register of Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer’s (CDAO). Organisations are required to update CQC with any changes to their CDAO arrangements. CQC provide useful resources for adult social care and on many topics related to Medicines Optimisation.
Orange Guidelines - these are the full national guidelines on Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) initiation and prescribing (UK Clinical Guidelines on Clinical Management of Drug Misuse and Dependence). The following sections are particularly useful for prescribers:
- pharmacological interventions (section 4, pages 83 - 113)
- initiation of methadone /buprenorphine (section 4.4, pages 90 - 100)
- methadone dosing (section 4.4.7, pages 97 - 98)
- buprenorphine dosing (section 4.4.8, pages 99 - 100)
NHS England Controlled Drugs Team
NHS England Controlled Drugs Team - the NHSE Controlled Drugs webpage contains links to resources that will be of use to healthcare professionals who work with controlled drugs.
Controlled Drugs Reporting
Controlled Drugs Reporting - all incidents involving controlled drugs should be reported to the Accountable Officer. This provides assurance that any risks have been mitigated and prompts any action to be taken if they are not. Reporting also allows for the identification of themes in reported incidents from which learning can take place. Clinicians can report incidents online at www.cdreporting.co.uk. Organisations that do have their own Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer are also required to send a summary of concerns relating to controlled drugs in an 'occurrence report' to the accountable officer at NHS England when requested. This information is requested every three months and can be submitted online at www.cdreporting.co.uk. As well as reporting CD incidents via this webpage, any provider can request the destruction of controlled drugs.
Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)
Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) connect the NHS and healthcare innovators, academic organisations, local authorities, charities and industry and provide a range of practical support to facilitate change across health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients. As well as delivering national and local programmes that address specific local needs and challenges within their geographies, AHSNs are also commissioned by NHS England to deliver National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes. There are 15 AHSNs in England, with our system covered by the West of England. They have created a number of free toolkits and resources to enable the healthcare community and patients to make more informed decisions, understand the most appropriate treatments and manage effective change in their practice. More information about the West of England AHSN and their medicines related projects and resources can be found here.