Medicines Optimisation

This programme focusses on improving outcomes for patients in the safe use of medication and empowering people to take more ownership of their treatment; reducing wastage of medicines and avoiding unnecessary prescribing.

The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) has been working in collaboration with The AHSN Network and partners to develop and deliver medicines optimisation projects.

Medicines Support Service

Evidence shows that when patients move between care providers they are at risk of miscommunication and unintended changes to their medicines. This can cause associated health consequences, many of which are preventable.

During 2015/16 we supported the Medicines Support Service, a project which encouraged the use of electronic referral pathways to improve the transfer of care for patients leaving hospital and returning home.

We worked with regional partners to support the implementation of this service, including project support, sharing networks, software licenses, and an Implementation Support Pack.

During 2016/17 we evaluated the service in Cornwall, including a quantitative and qualitative review of the service. This is in collaboration with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

The work was presented at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress in 2017. The poster can be viewed here.

For more information and support in implementing the referral service, please contact:


The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) has collaborated with Exeter Medical School, Pfizer and the East Midlands AHSN to further evaluate a video-enabled teaching tool, which aims to improve prescribing safety in hospitals.

More information can be found on East Midlands AHSN’s website or by contacting