About Wessex AHSN
Centre for Implementation Science
Frequently asked questions
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Polypharmacy simply means many medicines. As we are living longer with more chronic and long-term diseases, it is becoming increasingly common for people to be prescribed many medicines – sometimes ten or more different types of medicines each day.
This project will enable good quality reviews of patients on many medicines to take place; it will provide tools to help identify patients who are at risk because of their many medicines and guide clinicians to manage this.
Polypharmacy is a growing issue that is especially a problem for people over 75. As people age their body does not break down medicines in the same was as it did when they were younger. Because of this older people are at risk of medicines related complications that can lead to new illness, accidents such as falls, and increased risk of admission to hospital.
‘Deprescribing’ is when medicines are stopped in a carefully controlled way, following a review of how the patient is managing their different illnesses and medicines.
We have been working with a small group of people, locally and nationally to develop a set of comparators to help CCG's and practices identify people who are potentially at risk from polypharmacy. The polypharmacy comparators were launched in a local workshop on 30th March 2017. They will be available nationally for every CCG and Practice to access from early 2017. Please see below for slide content and video of the event:
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop: Clare Howard
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop: Gill Turner
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop: Lelly Oboh
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop: Jane Portlock and Nia Dobson
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop agenda
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop questions
Potentially inappropriate drugs in the frail elderly Aug 2014
Polypharmacy resource links
Polypharmacy resource July 2015
Patient centred approach to polypharmacy July 2015
Polypharmacy campaign communication July 2015
NICE Pathways: Medicines Optimisation Overview Aug 2015
NICE: Safe and effective medicines use for best outcomes
Evidence based medicines in older people
Wessex AHSN polypharmacy workshop: Liz Corteville
Interventions to improve appropriate polypharmacy in older people: Cochrane Review Dec 2015
Morrison and MacRae 2015: Promoting safer use of high risk pharmacotherapy impact
Alldred et al, 2013: The Cochrane Library