Medicines information and management
CPT consultants contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the quality of care by:
- leading or playing a role in the activities of drugs and therapeutics committees
- managing local formularies
- editing and facilitating the production of local prescribing guidelines
- leading the reporting of adverse drug reactions and reviewing medication errors at local level. Clinical pharmacologists lead the five regional yellow card centres in the UK (Northern, North-West, West Midlands, Wales and Scotland).
- auditing and reviewing patterns of local drug use with the aim of maximising effective and safe medicines use.
These activities are important to ensuring the best use of medicines and impact on the quality of care. The Future Hospital Commission identified that doctors should assume clinical leadership for patient safety, outcomes and experience. It recommends the establishment of a Medical Division, led by a ‘chief of medicine’, responsible for all medical services across the hospital – from the emergency department and acute and intensive care beds, through to general and specialist wards. CPT consultants are well suited to take on this role. (See the BPS report, Clinical Pharmacology: A dynamic medical specialty essential for UK healthcare, p 14, ‘Clinical pharmacologists help deliver more efficient formulary management’ and p 16 ‘Clinical pharmacologists develop guidance on safe and robust prescribing practices’.)