The Medicines Safety Improvement Programme (MedSIP) aims to reduce severe avoidable medication-related harm by 50% by 2024


  • Reduce adverse medicine administration events in care homes
  • Reduce harm from opioid medicines by reducing high dose prescribing (>120mg oral Morphine equivalent), for non-cancer pain


The South West AHSN has been working with a number of care homes across the South West to trial and test five pilots or interventions that could help them improve their services, processes and procedures in order to reduce adverse medicine administration events:

  • Safety Champions
  • Safety Team Huddles
  • Learning from events
  • Managing Medication-Round Interruptions
  • Improving communication between GP, care home and community pharmacy

These five themes surfaced from a national e-Survey, conducted in 2019 with 1101 returns received, to gather local information and suggestions on how to make administration of medicines in care homes safer.

The improvements from these pilots will be measured through tests of change and the findings will be part of a national programme across all 15 AHSNs.

As the pilots progress, we will be developing evaluations, impact reports and run charts to determine the impact and success of these interventions in a care home. These findings will be promoted at future South West Care Home Network events which take place four times a year and will be advertised on our events calendar.


The AHSNs, via the Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSC), were tasked to explore the current real-world interventions within the current COVID environment.

The 15 PSCs were able to utilise their deeply embedded relationships within their local systems to identify current, past or paused (due to the pandemic) activity aimed at reducing the use of high dose opiates for chronic non cancer pain.

The diagnostic phase took place from October 2020 to March 2021, with 15 real-world interventions being found within the South West region of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. These included a system level approach taken by Kernow CCG as part of the Patient Safety Kernow Quality Improvement programme in 2018-2019, and social prescribing interventions instigated by patients with lived experience.

The analysis reports the results of over 112 structured stakeholder interviews to paint a real-world picture of interventions past, present and future covering the English NHS.

As a result of coordinated efforts across England to gather intelligence, the findings and recommendations will be collated as part of a national report summarising the diagnostic phase of the programme due to be released in late 2021.