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Medication safety data collection and analysis Direction 2017

A Direction given by the Secretary of State for Health requiring NHS Digital to establish and operate a system for the collection of patient identifiable primary care prescribing and dispensing data from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for the purposes of analysis and linkage to Hospital Episode Statistical data (HES).


To support a programme led by the chief pharmaceutical officer, to drive change in medication safety, measure improvement and contribute to meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) global patient safety challenge "Medication without harm". This work is part of the programme of work on patient safety which is one of the Secretary of State's key priorities. One of the first priorities of this medication safety programme is to reduce preventable admissions to hospitals caused by medication errors. The impact can be significant - between 5 and 8 per cent of hospital admissions are medication-related, amounting to 4 per cent of total NHS acute bed capacity.

The key objectives of the data collection and analysis are:

  • To measure the rate of preventable admissions to hospital caused by medication error against a defined set of analyses.
  • To be able to track if an initiative to improve medication safety at the national level has resulted in reduced hospital admissions over time.

This Direction was replaced by the Medication Safety Data Collection and Analysis Direction (No 2) 2018 issued on 21 November 2018

Learn more about this Direction

Last edited: 20 April 2021 5:16 pm