Welcome to the Medicines Safety Dashboard


The medicines safety dashboard is a tool being developed to support the identification of best practice, opportunities for improvement and supporting spread and adoption across the nation.


It utilises a set of prescribing indicators that have been developed as part of a programme of work to promote safer use of medicines, including prescribing, dispensing, administration and monitoring.


The purpose of the indicators are to support reductions in hospital admissions that may be associated with prescribing, to reduce the risk of avoidable medicines related harms and to quantify patients at potentially increased medicines related safety risk. 


  • The content is based on consideration of the medicines safety related indicators that are available in the growing number of ‘dashboards’,  related information sources and data sets available.


  • The MSD only contains a selected number of medicines safety indicators but more can be added to align with national priorities as the national medicines safety programme develops.


  • This MSD approach is aimed at developing and supporting collaborative based working across the nation on improving medication safety on MSD indicators areas of interest.


  • The initial content is based on consideration of the indicators available within the ePACT2 data warehouse and the Open-prescribing website. There will be the option to include indicators from other information sources as this approach is developed.


  • The MSD does not state where best practice targets are for the indicators involved, in recognition of the fact that specific best practice positions may be dependent on local circumstances and therefore should be locally determined.

Ref Opioids Prescribing Indicators


O1 Continuous prescribing of opiates for more than 12 month

O2 High dose opioids as percentage regular opioids by all CCGs

O3 High dose opioids per 1000 patients by all CCGs

O4 Opioids - total oral morphine equivalence by CCG

O5 Anxiolytics and Hypnotics - Average Daily Quantity per item by all CCGs

O6 Prescribing of gabapentin and pregabalin (DDD) by all CCGs

O7 Prescribing of pregabalin by all CCGs


Ref Polypharmacy Indicators


IP7 Average number of unique medicines per patient

IP8 Percentage of patients prescribed 8≥ unique medicines

IP10 Percentage of patients prescribed 10≥ unique medicines

IP15 Percentage of patients prescribed 15 ≥ unique medicines

IP20 Percentage of patients prescribed 20 ≥ unique medicines


Ref Anticoagulant Indicators


IP6 Percentage of patients prescribed multiple anticoagulant regimes

S2 (GIB02) Patients ≥18 years old prescribed a NSAID and concurrently prescribed an oral anticoagulant (warfarin or NOAC)

S3 (GIB0) Patients ≥18 years old prescribed an oral anticoagulant (warfarin or a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC)) with an anti-platelet and NOT concurrently prescribed a gastroprotective medicine


Ref Additional Polypharmacy Indicators


P1.85 The average number of unique medicines prescribed per patient - for patients ≥85 years old

P2.75 Percentage of patients with an anticholinergic burden score of 6 or more aged 75 and over

P3.9 Percentage of patients with an anticholinergic burden score ≥9

P4 Percentage of patients prescribed medicines likely to cause Acute Kidney Injury DAMN (Diuretics/ACI&ARBs/Metformin/NSAIDS) drugs

P5 Percentage of patients prescribed a NSAID and ≥ 1 other unique medicines likely to cause kidney injury (DAMN drugs)


Ref Gastrointestinal Bleed Risk Indicators


S1 (GIB01) Patients ≥65 years old prescribed a NSAID and NOT concurrently prescribed a gastro-protective medicine

S4 (GIB04) Patients ≥18 years old prescribed aspirin and another antiplatelet and NOT concurrently prescribed a gastro-protective medicine

S5 (GIBC1) Composite Gastro Intestinal Bleeds comprising of unique patients from indicators 1 to 4

S6 v Total volumes of oral NSAIDS (ADQs per STARPU)


Links to useful websites

Please click here to send us your feedback about the  medicines safety dashboard..


We would like to hear from you

The medicines safety dashboard is a tool to support quality improvement. Users of the dashboard should maintain a focus on improvement. The tool should not be used for performance management. It is intended to assist users to identify opportunities for sharing best practice. It should be accompanied by a positive narrative. If you want more information on measurement for improvement, please follow this link or watch this video.



Every month, the NHS in England publishes anonymised data about the drugs prescribed by GPs. But the raw data files are large and unwieldy, with more than 700 million rows. The Open Prescribing website is making it easier for GPs, managers and everyone to explore - supporting safer, more efficient prescribing.


Please follow this link to access the website


ePACT2 is an online application which gives authorised users access to prescription data.


You can access online analyses of prescribing data held by NHS Prescription Services. Data is available 6 weeks after the dispensing month

Please follow this link to access the website

You might find the following link also useful. It leads you to the medicines optimisation dashboard that was first launched in 2014 and since then NHS England has developed and refined the dashboard based on feedback from the people who use it.


Please follow this link to access the website

The NHS Patient Safety Strategy describes how the NHS will continuously improve patient safety, building on the foundations of a safer culture and safer systems.


Patient safety is about maximising the things that go right and minimising the things that go wrong. It is integral to the NHS’ definition of quality in healthcare, alongside effectiveness and patient experience.


This strategy sets out what the NHS will do to achieve its vision to continuously improve patient safety. Please follow this link for more information