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Researchers at the University of Nottingham, responsible for developing and testing the PINCER intervention (an IT-based pharmacist-led intervention which has been shown to reduce prescribing errors in general practices), have secured further funding to improve prescribing safety in the East Midlands.

Professor Tony Avery and Dr Sarah Rodgers from the Division of Primary care, University of Nottingham, along with colleagues from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN), have led a successful bid to the Health Foundation Scaling Up Improvement initiative. From over 150 applicants the team has been successful in securing one of seven £500,000 grants. This will enable the team to roll out the PINCER initiative over the next two years to over 150 general practices in the East Midlands. The EMAHSN is providing at least a further £100,000 to help with the rollout.

'PINCER' stands for Pharmacist-led INformation technology intervention for reducing Clinically important ERrors in medication management and comprises a three stage approach:

1. Running searches on the general practice computer system to identify patients at risk from prescribing and drug monitoring errors.

2. A pharmacist - trained in the PINCER approach – working with the practice to develop an action plan for taking corrective action. For example this could involve inviting patients into the surgery to review their prescription or have a blood test, and working with staff to review and enhance safety systems for prescribing and monitoring medications.

3. The pharmacist continuing to work with and support the general practice staff to implement the action plan.

Funding we received from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research has enabled us to refine the PINCER intervention for wide-scale rollout, and this has led to our success in the Health Foundation bid."
- Tony Avery

Sarah Rodgers says “The results from the PINCER trial (published in the Lancet in 2012) have shown that pharmacists can help general practices to reduce rates of clinically important and commonly made prescribing errors by up to 50 percent. This award is fantastic news as we now have funding in place for the rollout of PINCER to over 150 general practices across the East Midlands to not only improve the quality of patient care in the region, but also reduce the costs associated with dealing with prescribing errors, which sometimes require hospital admission.”



Further details are available in the following press releases:

University of Nottingham

East Midlands Academic Health Science Network

Tony Avery spoke on BBC radio Nottingham recently about the initiative and a link to the programme is provided below (Tony is talking from 1hr 13 minutes into the broadcast):


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