Maintaining quality

A high-quality CPT service for patients is maintained by:

  • providing medicines management to ensure the safe and effective use of medicines eg developing local formularies, reviewing prescribing guidance, reviewing and reporting adverse drug reactions and undertaking audits to ensure good practice 
  • contributing at a national level to regulation of new medicines (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and health technology assessment (NICE, All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, Scottish Medicines Consortium). Reviews of clinical and cost-effectiveness of medicines are publicly available and subject to periodic review. Transparency allows engagement with patients and patient groups.
  • empowering patient recovery by effective communication, shared decision making, and supporting medicines concordance around prescribing; and through educational activities promoting patient-centred care more widely. 
  • promoting patient-centred care as part of the mission to deliver appropriate prescribing
  • delivering research in the NHS with the goal of introducing new therapies and improving current practice
  • improving professional standards for doctors and other health professionals through education and training, revalidation and continuing professional development activities.

Locally, CPT consultants are involved in review and audits of clinical services. They may contribute to local guidelines for clinical management of patients and formularies. Advice regarding good prescribing is monitored using prescription data and achievement of ‘prescribing indications’, reflecting good practice. (See the BPS report, Clinical Pharmacology: A dynamic medical specialty essential for UK healthcare, p 16, ‘Clinical pharmacologists develop safer (and more cost-effective) protocols using existing medicines’.)

Nationally CPT consultants undertake numerous roles. Reviews of clinical and cost-effectiveness of medicines, for example for National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) and Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), are transparent, subject to periodic review and are publicly available. By ensuring that medicines are used effectively, CPT consultants contribute to improving the health of the nation. Other national activities, for example the National Poison Information Service (NPIS), are subject to quality assurance reviews and consistently show very high levels of satisfaction. CPT consultants are also involved in the assessment of the quality, efficacy and safety of new medicines that are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) by serving on and/or chairing the relevant committees.

The Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) is a major step forward in ensuring that newly qualified doctors are able to deliver safe prescribing for the NHS. It was developed jointly between the British Pharmacological Society and the Medical Schools Council. Every undergraduate medical student in the UK now undertakes this assessment before qualifying.

(See the BPS report, Clinical Pharmacology: A dynamic medical specialty essential for UK healthcare, p 18, ‘Clinical pharmacologists improve the training of the wider NHS workforce’.)