The Primary Care Improvement Portfolio (PCIP) brings expertise from Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) Primary Care, SPSP Medicines and other primary care improvement work, to improve the safety of prescribing, assessing and distributing medicines.

Our work themes are:

  • Pharmacotherapy level 1 services' collaborative
  • Transitions of care
  • High risk situations involving medicines
  • Omitted medicines

Why focus on this?

Medicines are the most common therapeutic intervention, therefore ensuring safe medication use and having the processes in place to improve medication safety should be considered of central importance. We need to consider the safer use of medicines from a whole system approach, focusing on the patient as they move between care settings and home while aligning our work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) medication without harm challenge to reduce medicines related harm by 50% over 5 years.

As part of the challenge, WHO has asked countries and key stakeholders to prioritize three areas for strong commitment, early action and effective management to protect patients from harm while maximizing the benefit from medication. These key areas are: 

  1. medication safety in high-risk situations
  2. medication safety in polypharmacy
  3. medication safety in transitions of care.

Access the WHO three technical reports.

Who are we working with?

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists and Community Pharmacists
  • GPs and Practice Staff
  • Carers in care homes

What are we trying to achieve?

  • Promote safer prescribing across all care settings.
  • Minimise harm to patients from high risk medicines
  • Support teams in the practice of realistic medicine through polypharmacy reviews.

How will we achieve this?

  • Providing quality improvement support to pharmacists working in primary care who are engaging in improvement activities around high risk medicines and developing a safer culture within their teams. Find our more about Pharmacy in Primary Care.
  • Sharing our NSAIDs safety bundle with dispensing GP practices and pharmacies across scotland,  help your pharmacy team consistently deliver the key safety messages so patients have better information about how to take NSAIDs safely. 
  • Sharing improvement initiatives from across Scotland, to help those looking to start improvement work in medicines safety.
  • Regional and national learning sessions so we can share outputs and resources from our work.

How will we know we have made a difference?

We continuously evaluate the impact of our work. Email hcis.pcpteam@nhs.net to join our mailing list and stay up to date with all the latest developments.