Workstream 5 – Evaluating a deprescribing intervention

Research team

Jonathan Benn, Liz Breen, Beth Fylan, Dave Alldred, Duncan Petty, George Peat, Janice Olaniyan


We are working in collaboration with colleagues from Workstreams 1 and 3. Externally, we are developing collaborations with local and regional Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Primary Care Networks (PCNs), General Practices, Patient panels and local Citizen Groups.

Why is this project important?

Older patients (65 years and older) and those with a diagnosis of frailty often take multiple medicines and are on complex drug regimens. We also know that sometimes medicines become problematic over time – for example, more medicines increase the risk of side effects due to drug interactions. Stopping medicines is therefore a solution when they have become problematic. In previous Workstreams, we worked with patients, their supporting peers (i.e. those who help patients manage their medicines at home) and clinicians to understand:

  • Experiences of stopping medicines (Workstream 1);
  • What the ideal process of stopping medicines looks like (Workstream 3); and
  • How to identify patients who are at higher risk of experiencing negative effects from their medicines (Workstream 4).

What are we doing?

Our findings are being used to develop an intervention to help stopping problematic medicines safely. Our intervention will play to the strengths of the current GP medicines consultation process but will also enhance it with the introduction of a means to identify patients who GPs need to speak to about their medicines and with the adoption of an improved consultation which is person-centric. This Workstream will then focus on the implementation and evaluation of our intervention, to understand whether it works and provides value for money, and how it can be rolled out widely in the future.

Patient and public involvement and engagement

We have consulted with our patient representatives in the course of planning this Workstream activity and in the development of the recently submitted funding bid.

Outputs and impact

The introduction of an alert mechanism for at risk patient identification and an enhanced deprescribing consultation to support healthcare professionals in patient treatment.

The impact will be healthier patients, a reduction in potential patient harm, a robust and evidence based service being used to support patient care, reduction in medications cost (based on the reduction of unnecessary medications per patient), more informed patients who feel more involved and in control of their healthcare treatment.

Contact for more information

Jonathan Benn, Liz Breen, George Peat