Guidance and Support Page


We have created this page to help you get the best from this dashboard.


We hope you will find the content useful and the links to related websites relevant on your journey to improve patient outcomes.


If you are unable to find the help you need on this page, we are always happy to explore other means to assist you. Please get in touch


Joanna Garrett, Senior Project Manager, Patient Safety Collaborative, West of England Academic Health Science Network South Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol BS1 3NX Tel: 0117 9841690 Mob: 07825906446 Email: website: Twitter: @WEAHSN LinkedIn: West of England Academy

User Guide

The medicines optimisation dashboard was first launched in 2014 and since then NHS England has developed and refined the dashboard based on feedback from the people who use it.

Public Health England (PHE) has completed a public health evidence review of available data and published evidence on the problems of dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medicines. 

Polypharmacy is a key issue in health and social care, as evidence suggests that being on multiple medications increases the individuals’ risk of harm and contributes to hospital admissions and poor therapeutic outcomes. Indeed, patients on 10 or more medicines are over 300% more likely to be admitted to hospital.

A set of prescribing indicators have been developed as part of a programme of work to reduce medication error and promote safer use of medicines, including prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring. Anticoagulant indicators GIB02 and GIB03 are part of the indicators defined in this guidance.

In 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched its third Global Patient Safety Challenge ‘Medication Without Harm’, which aims to reduce the global burden of severe and avoidable medication-related harm by 50% over five years.

NHS Improvement and NHS England have established a national Medicine Safety Programme (MSP) which is gathering opinion about the most important priorities to address, through three lenses:

  • high risk drugs
  • high risk parts of the medicines use process
  • patients with the highest vulnerabilities

All aspects of medication use will be considered — from safe packaging and labelling design; safer prescribing methods — including electronic prescribing; understanding of human-factor error; the use of metrics to drive a reduction in the risk of harm..