Medicines Safety Assurance Model: Identifying Best Practice at a System Level

Closed 19 May 2019

Opened 3 Apr 2019


A national Medicines Safety Programme has recently been established in NHS Improvement to contribute to the 3rd WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge – Medication without Harm. This aims to reduce severe and avoidable harm caused by medicines by 50%. As part of the quality improvement approach of the Medicines Safety Programme we are developing a system wide Medicines Safety Assurance Model, which is a self assessment framework to identify and support best practice. 

In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils set out their proposals to improve health and care for patients by coming together to form 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) in England. These partnerships ensure local organisations run services in a more coordinated way, to agree system-wide priorities. In certain areas, a partnership will evolve to form an integrated care system (ICS) which is a closer type of collaboration. Within integrated care systems, NHS organisations have the responsibility to manage resources, deliver NHS standards, and improve the health of the population they serve. System working is when different organisations work together to enable local services to provide more joined-up care for patients and a better understanding of data about local population health.

Why We Are Consulting

This survey seeks to establish a baseline of current medicines safety practice within organisations and how this translates consistently in to good practice across a system (within STP's/ ICS's) prior to implementation of the model. In the intital scoping phase, this model has been tested with various system leaders to gather opinions on what current best practice might look like. The model will better able to drive system level medicines safety improvement if it is based on those with experience in the current delivery of NHS care generally and medicines safety specifically. We are therefore grateful for your input in to developing this model.  

A system wide Medicines Safety Assurance Model will support the development of local best practice to enable a whole system approach to medicines harm reduction. It will drive demonstrable improvements in patient care and will provide organisations with a self-assessment assurance framework to reduce the risk of harm. The following questions refer to five domains of the suggested model, which evidence suggests have an impact on medication safety. Below is a document which summarises the evidence. 

What Happens Next

Thank you for your time. Your feedback is important to us and we will be in touch with the survey results as soon as possible.