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  • 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017
  • Project No: 287
  • Funding round: FR 11

Medicines are among the commonest treatments used by doctors to improve the health and well-being of patients. Being admitted to hospital can result in considerable changes to a patient’s usual medicines. This can be confusing and worrying for patients, and can sometimes result in mistakes being made in the prescription. However, little is known in the UK about the nature of these medication changes, such as which patients and what types of medicines are affected most. Understanding these issues would help us improve the quality of patient care and medicines use in patients who have recently been discharged from hospital.

This research will use a large UK store of patients’ computerised health records, known as the CPRD. It will be possible to study information on about 100,000 adults who have been admitted to hospital since 2010. We will examine how the numbers and types of medicines prescribed by GPs change before and after an admission to hospital, including whether inappropriate medication use is affected by an admission. We will find out what factors might affect any change in medicine use, including the speciality of the main doctor caring for the patient, length of stay in hospital and how urgent the hospital admission was. We will also take into account factors such as the age, sex and long-term health problems of the patient.

This work has the potential to benefit a large number of patients. It will help to identify those patients who are most likely to experience changes in their medicines after a hospital admission, and will tell us what types of medicines are most likely to be affected. This will help us design ways of improving the quality of prescribing and care for patients who have recently been discharged from hospital.

Amount awarded: £73,206

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.