As part of the 2022/23 AHSN Network ‘Polypharmacy: getting the balance right’ programme, the Oxford AHSN is supporting healthcare professionals to identify patients at potential risk from polypharmacy and to support better conversations about medicines.
You can learn more about what we are doing and why here or watch this short introductory video by the national Clinical Lead, Clare Howard.
How will we do this?
The programme is based across three pillars which is underpinned by Polypharmacy Community of Practice groups
The Oxford AHSN is developing Polypharmacy Communities of Practice (CoP) with Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Integrated Care Board (ICB); Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB and Frimley ICB. These are part of the national AHSN Network polypharmacy programme.
Each polypharmacy community of practice will:
• bring together individuals and organisations with a common interest in helping to reduce overprescribing,
and improve medicines safety and people’s health
• foster a system-wide culture of collaboration, shared information, learning and innovation
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB Community of Practice- register here
Frimley ICB Community of Practice – register here
Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB Community of Practice – register here
Pillar 1: Population Health Management
Using data (NHS BSA Polypharmacy Comparators) to understand Primary Care Network risks and identify patients for prioritisation for a Structured Medication Review.
Polypharmacy: understanding the data webinars
The programme is encouraging routine use of the NHSBSA Polypharmacy Comparators to assess patients in high-risk groups. The NHSBSA Polypharmacy Prescribing Comparators tool is available to all GPs and pharmacists. Over 900 delegates have joined these webinars since April 2022 – the next webinar date to follow.
Future dates for Understanding the Data Webinars, reserve your space now:
Pillar 2: Education & Training
Investing in clinical leaders – AHSN polypharmacy clinical leads and expert polypharmacy trainers and delivery of local polypharmacy action learning sets (ALSs) to upskill the primary care workforce to be more confident about stopping unnecessary medicines. The ALS model was originally developed and piloted by Wessex AHSN and supported by Health Education England (HEE).
Polypharmacy Action Learning Set (ALS) future dates
The Polypharmacy ALS is an evidence-based learning model which helps GPs, Pharmacists and other Healthcare Professionals who undertake prescribing, medication reviews and de-prescribing on a regular basis, to understand the complex issues surrounding stopping inappropriate medicines safely. The course is three half day online interactive sessions held over two months using zoom conference facilities. Register your interest for future cohorts.
Polypharmacy QI Posters
Following each ALS, delegates complete a quality improvement project to address problematic polypharmacy in their workplace. You can view the posters here.
Pillar 3: Public Behaviour Change
Local testing and evaluation of public-facing initiatives to change public perceptions of prescribing and encourage patients to open up about medicine concerns and expectations
‘Me and My Medicines’ is a campaign led by patients and supported by clinical staff to help people raise concerns and use their medicines better, to help everyone benefit from more effective and safer care.
This is currently being piloted across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB; Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB and Frimley ICB.
Helping patients take their medicines safely: reasonable adjustments
We have created a suite of a free resources to help patients take their medicines safely. These resources focus on improving understanding of the range of, and process for selecting reasonable adjustments for patients who may be encountering challenges with taking multiple medicines. Resources include a video, decision tree poster and assessment form for use by healthcare professionals. We have also created a short video for patients, carers and families.