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Medicines Safety Improvement Programme

The objective of the national Medicines Safety Improvement Programme is to help patients get the maximum benefit from their medicines and reduce waste with an overarching aim to reduce medication related harm in health and social care, focusing on high risk drugs, situations and vulnerable patients.

Each area of work in this programme intends to make medicines safety part of routine practice, ensure medicines use is as safe as possible and understand the patients’ experience.

The national Medicines Safety Improvement Programme (MedSIP) is led by NHS England and Improvement’s patient safety team. The programme is delivered by the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative. Read more about the national Medicines Safety Improvement Programme (MedSIP) here.

Working collaboratively

Our established Medicines Safety Steering Group, will oversee the delivery of the three-year MedSIP.

The steering group offers a unique opportunity for those working to improve medicines safety across the local healthcare systems to interact and collaborate, and a forum for local improvement and diversity of thought to thrive.

The steering group is made up of representatives from acute trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, local pharmacy committees, community providers, mental health service providers, and primary care representatives across the West of England region. Click here for a map of a our region. 

A regional Care Home Patient Safety Networks will be established to specifically support the delivery of the care home related work of MedSIP, as well as the (ManDetSIP). Co-ordination between these two programmes will be required to bring together key stakeholders into one network; to help improve alignment and collaborative working.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Medicines Safety Steering Group or the Care Home Patient Safety Network, please contact either or

Please visit our events page to find further details of all our patient safety meetings and webinars.


Our local delivery will focus on meeting the objectives of the national MedSIP:

  • reduce medicine administration errors in care homes by 50% by March 2024
  • reduce inappropriate high dose opiate prescriptions for non-cancer pain by 50%, by March 2024.

The Overarching aim for MedSIP is to respond to the WHO ‘Medication without Harm’ challenge target for 2023 to reduce severe medication related harm globally by 50% over five years. Read more about the WHO ‘Medication without Harm’ challenge here. 

This programme, working collaboratively with the other Patient Safety Improvement Programmes, will seek to identify and test interventions for future adoption and spread. Read more about all our Patient Safety Improvement Programmes here. 

Our work

You can find out more about our work to support medicines safety, including projects completed between 2018-20, here.

You can also read more about our medicines safety work in relation to COVID-19 below:

Electronic Repeat Dispensing webinars – response to COVID-19 

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS Business Services Authority advised and supported primary care in England to increase the use of Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) to allow patients taking ‘stable’ medicines to receive a repeat prescription for up to a year.

Watch our series of eRD webinars.

The webinars were held during June and July 2020.

Building on the success of this webinar series, we will be developing our support offer to primary care colleagues to increase rates of eRD in 2021/22 through our regional workforce programme in partnership with South West, Wessex, Oxford and Kent, Surrey and Sussex AHSNs.

Transfer of Care Around Medicines – response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, our Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) project was re-oriented from March 2020 to focus on discharge to care homes and new residents moving into care homes. Find out more about TCAM during COVID-19.

Get in touch

For more information on our medicines safety work and events, please contact Senior Project Manager,

You can also stay up to date with our news and events. You can also sign-up to receive our monthly West of England newsletter here.


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Medicines Optimisation during COVID-19

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Managing Deterioration Safety Improvement Programme

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Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme

Our Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme aims to improve patient safety for people accessing mental health services and treatment.

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Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme

As an AHSN we’re committed to innovation. The main objective of the national Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme is to identify and support the spread and adoption of effective and safe evidence-based interventions and practice.

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