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Medicines Safety

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. 

The programme is now in its third year and currently has a single priority: to improve the care of people living with chronic pain by reducing harm from opioids.

In addition, a further two workstreams are in progress as part of the Health Innovation Network Medicines Optimisation programme:

  1. Reducing inappropriate polypharmacy 
  2. Safer use of anticoagulants 

Some other medicines related workstreams came under the Health Innovation Networks’ 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.