Medicines optimisation dashboard

Patients depend on medicines to help maintain health, prevent illness, manage chronic conditions and treat disease. Medicines are such an important part of what the NHS does to help patients and are therefore a very precious resource.

Over the years, much work has been done to ensure medicines-use is evidence based and cost effective. In previous years, there has been a focus on prescribing data (drug cost and volume) relating to drug choice and prescribing. However, until recently, relatively little work has been done outside of the academic setting on how well patients are supported to get the best outcomes from their medicines.

Evidence, both national and international, suggests that medicines use is “sub optimal”. That is why we supported and encouraged the development of principles to support medicines optimisation. Led by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, but developed in collaboration with patients, the medical and nursing professions and the pharmaceutical industry, the principles offer a step change in the way that we think about medicines use in the NHS.

Medicines optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients get the right choice of medicine, at the right time. And by focusing on patients and their experiences, the goal is to help patients to: improve their outcomes; take their medicines correctly; avoid taking unnecessary medicines; reduce wastage of medicines; and improve medicines safety. Ultimately medicines optimisation can help encourage patients to take ownership of their treatment.

NHS England is working with patients, the pharmaceutical industry, royal colleges and others to encourage a range of improvements aimed at ensuring that patients get the support they need to get the most from their medicines.

This dashboard is part of the wider PPRS/Medicines Optimisation Programme, a joint programme of action by NHS England and the ABPI with the full support of Government through the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group.  The primary aim of the programme is to improve patient outcomes, quality and value from medicine use, guided by the principles of medicines optimisation, and to create a clinical pull to accelerate the optimal use of innovative, clinical and cost effective medicines which maximises the benefits of the PPRS Agreement.

Recent changes to the medicines optimisation dashboard

Further to the first full revision of the medicines optimisation dashboard in November 2015, following feedback received from users we have refreshed data for metrics where more up to date data is available. We hope this will further help CCGs to understand how well their local populations are being supported, to optimise medicines use and inform local planning. Click on the ‘Changes’ tab within the dashboard to find out which metrics have been updated.

The dashboard is presented to allow local NHS organisations to highlight variation in local practice and provoke discussion on the appropriateness of local care. It is not intended as a performance measurement tool.

The next data refresh will take place in May.

Evolution and development of the dashboard

Over its lifetime we have been evaluating and adapting the dashboard to make sure that it meets the needs of the people we want to use it. Over the last 9 months the dashboard metrics have been developed and refined based on the feedback you gave us on the prototype dashboard.

In the coming months we will be considering feedback and recommendations we received from two pieces of work commissioned by NHS England. Firstly, we have again evaluated how you use the dashboard and how you would like to see it develop. Secondly, we have consulted with a wide range of stakeholders to discover how the dashboard can help patients get the best outcomes from their medicines. Both of these reports will be published in the next three months. To hear when these reports are published and be kept up-to-date with any developments, please open the dashboard and click on ‘Subscribe to updates to Medicines Optimisation Dashboard’ on the menu page.

In November we plan to launch a new look dashboard which implements learning from feedback and evaluation and also aligns with the Right Care Atlas of Variation and the Innovation Scorecard. This will make it easier for our users to employ all three tools to help develop plans to ensure that all patients achieve the best possible outcomes from their treatment, wherever they live.

As this is ongoing work, we welcome any feedback. Your comments and suggestions for future iterations can be sent to

More information

NICE Guidance: The National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on medicines optimisation in March 2015.  This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of all people who are using medicines and also those who are receiving suboptimal benefit from medicines.

Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees

As a first step towards establishing Regional Medicines Optimisation Committees (RMOC), NHS England held a workshop, on 20 April 2016, with a broad range of NHS colleagues, to begin the process of agreeing the principles which will form the foundations of the committees. The main focus of the workshop was for attendees to discuss the following key issues that will underpin the establishment of the Committees:

  • What are the principles under which the RMOCs will operate?
  • What does the governance structure look like?
  • What does the membership of the Committees look like?
  • How will the work plan be allocated?

NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS England will be working together to take forward the establishment of the Committees. As an immediate next step, we would welcome your comments in relation to the write up of the discussions. Please provide any comments to Phil Thomas by 5pm on Friday 20 May.