Pharmacy team leads novel safety project

The medicines information centre at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust is leading a national study to improve understanding of drug side-effects.

It is a new take on the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) yellow card scheme – where healthcare professionals report adverse reactions through a form by post or online – and means details can now be sent immediately via an electronic system.

The yellow card reporting system will be incorporated into a computerised database that is already widely used in medicine information centres across the UK for documenting, researching and answering pharmaceutical enquiries.

"This is the first time in the world that a government safety regulator's database has been linked to actual clinical practice and it is hoped this will highlight a wider range of safety issues," said Dr Simon Wills, head of the drug and medicines information centre at Southampton General Hospital.

"The integration of yellow card reporting into a wider electronic system will allow information to be shared more simply and quickly with the MHRA for effective drug safety monitoring.”

He added: "Patient safety has always been paramount at SUHT and, in this area, the Trust is leading the way in the NHS."
Posted on Friday 4 February 2011