NHS England launches new Medicines Optimisation Dashboard

NHS England has today launched an updated Medicines Optimisation Dashboard to help CCGs improve and understand how well patients across the country are being supported to use their medicines.

The dashboard brings together data and aligns it to various themes including patient safety, mental health, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, antibiotic prescribing and community pharmacy.

The data will allow local NHS organisations to highlight variation in local practice and stimulate discussion on the appropriateness of local care.

It is not intended to be used as a performance management tool but is designed to encourage localised discussions about how well patients are being supported to get maximum benefit from medicines. In addition it looks at the variation in use of some of the newer innovative medicines which complement the ‘Innovation Scorecard’ – guidance designed to reduce variation, strengthen compliance, benchmark and improve transparency for patients.

Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for NHS England, said: “Medicine optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients get the right choice of medicine, at the right time. It is important that the way medicine is used is centred on the patient if we are to exploit the maximum benefit from their use. We encourage CCGs and Trusts to work together to agree how to use this dashboard locally.”

Despite medicine playing a crucial role in maintaining health, preventing illness, managing chronic conditions and curing disease;

  • About 50% of medicines are not taken as intended and between five and eight per cent of all unplanned hospital admissions are due to medication issues. This figure rises to 17% in the over 65s age group.
  • £300 million is wasted in primary care alone, about half of which is avoidable.

Local Professional Networks and Academic Health Science Networks will use the data in their collaboration with patients, CCGs, Trusts and the pharmaceutical industry to support local improvement.

David Watson, Director of Pricing and Reimbursement for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said: “Patient access to new medicines varies across the UK. The Medicines Optimisation Dashboard, along with the Innovation Scorecard, should increasingly play a role in helping to address this variation by supporting clinicians to review and plan the best use of innovative new medicines.”