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Prescribing errors in general practices are not common but when they happen they can cause safety incidents, illness, hospitalisation and even deaths. Errors happen for a number of reasons but main causes include ‘contraindications’ (different drugs used together), failure to take action on computer warnings, and lack of appropriate monitoring and breakdown of safety systems. PINCER helps tackle these issues.

PINCER is a proven ‘Pharmacist-led INformation technology intervention for reducing Clinically important Errors’ that was developed by the PRIMIS team, part of the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham.

It allows GPs to review patient records and identify patients who are being prescribed medicines that are commonly and consistently associated with medication errors and therefore enables action to be taken to reduce the risk of these errors occurring.

The PRIMIS team undertook a study to see what effect using PINCER had on patient safety and found that it was effective in reducing the range of clinically important and common medication errors in general practice when combined with a pharmacist to undertake the patient reviews.

This intervention has since been tested in GP practices across Wessex and during 2019 we shall be adopting the approach in the West of England.


The West of England AHSN has been assessing the level of readiness of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to adopt PINCER with the aim of agreeing an approach to implement in 2019. This project aims to launch in April 2019.


Find out more about the PINCER tool, including the evidence base, on the PINCER website.

Click here for a helpful summary of PINCER including answers to frequently asked questions.

Read about PINCER and The GP pharmacists leading a life-saving medicines safety project.  (This article can be read twice per month)

Below are a selection of resources if you’re looking for something more specific:

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