Medicines Optimisation 

Medicines optimisation is about ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes. Optimising a person's medicines is important to ensure the person is taking their medicines as intended and can support the management of long-term conditions, multi-morbidities and polypharmacy. Medicines optimisation is defined as a person-centred approach to safe and effective medicines use, to ensure people obtain the best possible outcomes from their medicines.

Shared decision-making is an essential part of evidence-based medicine, seeking to use the best available evidence to guide decisions about the care of the individual patient, taking into account their needs, preferences and values. The safety of medicines is another important consideration when optimising medicines and can be a continual challenge. It is estimated that 5% to 8% of unplanned hospital admissions are due to medication issues. Read the NICE guidance here.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society suggests four guiding principles of medicines optimisation aiming to lead to improved patient outcomes:

  • Aim to understand the patient's experience
  • Evidence based choice of medicines
  • Ensure medicines use is as safe as possible
  • Make medicines optimisation part of routine practice.

You can read their good practice guidance here.

Approximately 11% of the funding the Integrated Care Board (ICB) receives to commission health care for our population is spent on medicines in primary care. Medicines remain the most frequent therapeutic intervention in the NHS. In primary care in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight there were 32 million prescription items dispensed in 2021/22 at a cost of £300 million.

The ICB medicines optimisation teams (based at locality level) comprise GP clinical leads, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dietitians, specialist nurses and business support team members. The teams work with:

  • GPs, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, other prescribers and all team members in GP surgeries
  • Primary care networks (PCNs)
  • Community pharmacy teams and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee
  • Dietitians
  • Specialist nursing teams such as tissue viability nurses
  • Care homes
  • Hospital doctors, pharmacy teams and other specialists in hospitals, mental health, learning disability and community providers
  • Local authorities, voluntary organisations and patient groups
  • The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device companies

Our goal being to:

Continuously improve the use of medicines across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight so that individuals, communities and the population - including those from all backgrounds and ethnicities - can benefit from taking the most appropriate medicines for them, within the resources available to us. 

Find our more about medicines optimisation in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight below:

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