Safe Use of Medicines Theme Update


Research team:  Professor David Alldred, Dr Liz Breen, Dr George Peat, Dr Janice Olaniyan

Since our inception, a core aim of the Safe Use of Medicines theme has been to tackle overprescribing and problematic polypharmacy for older people living with frailty, through supporting the safe practice of reducing or stopping medicines (deprescribing) in the primary care setting. Whilst medicines safety for everyone is important, it is particularly important for patients living with frailty, who are more likely to experience adverse drug events or side effects because of their medicines. Through a combination of research approaches with different groups including patients living with frailty, their informal carers, and healthcare professionals, we have developed a suite of tools that aim to support safe deprescribing practice in the primary care setting specifically for patients living with frailty. To understand the impact of our suite of tools on staff, patient, and carer experience of deprescribing, we developed a small-scale feasibility study. Having recently obtained research ethical approval to commence the study, we are currently liaising with GP practices to work with us to undertake the study. Primary care continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many understandably focused on the delivery of the vaccine programme. As such, early engagement with GP practices suggests that we will begin the study at the start of 2022

Lay Leader involvement with our theme

Nazreen Butt joined our theme as Lay Leader in September 2020 and has contributed positively to a range of our studies.   Nazreen has worked closely with us to develop studies across our theme, including our deprescribing study. Nazreen’s own knowledge and experiences have been instrumental in supporting the development of patient-facing recruitment materials for the study. In addition, Nazreen has also supported the development of patient interview guides to ensure that we appropriately capture the patient’s experience. Going forward, Nazreen will continue to be integral to the study, participating in the analysis of patient interview data, and supporting the appropriate dissemination of study findings.