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New medicines management toolkit for professionals working in children’s palliative and end of life care

News and comment

Safe use of medicines, a new toolkit from Together for Short Lives, is now available for professionals working with children’s medicines in palliative care settings.

The interactive resource is available to download online for professionals working in hospices, hospitals and in the community. It is essential guidance for clinicians and everyone managing medicines for children and young people with life-limiting conditions throughout their life and at the end of their life.

This toolkit is written by seven expert leaders in their fields and has been generously funded by the James Tudor Foundation.

Often children and young people with life-limiting conditions require multiple medications and care from different professionals across different settings. For those involved, the co-ordination of such complex care is a continuing challenge. This essential Safe use of medicines toolkit (third edition) responds to the latest changes in medicines management while adhering to principles of good governance in the high-risk element of children’s palliative care.

This third edition offers important new sections and guidance, including, learning from error and controlled drugs. Each chapter includes questions to stimulate reflection, knowledge bites, goals for practice, and clinical case study examples that capture front line experience in practice.

In their introduction, Gerry Armitage, Emeritus Professor, Health Services Research, University of Bradford and Hadar Zaman, Head of School, Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, University of Bradford write:

“Medicines continue to be the most common clinical intervention in healthcare and prescribing the second highest source of expenditure across healthcare sectors. Medication-related harm can and does have fatal consequences.”

This toolkit has been designed to:

  • provide the underlying knowledge and skills for the assessment and management of medicines-related risk
  • present the key threats to child safety in high-risk processes such as providing complex medicines across services
  • develop guidance for medicines reconciliation and transcribing to improve medicines management at care transitions
  • encourage the sharing of notable local practice across children’s palliative care services
  • enable the production of medicines management policies in each local service that share a common evidence base, common principles and shared standards.

Lizzie Chambers, Director of Programmes for Together for Short Lives said: “I hope this updated toolkit and guidance will provide everything necessary to safely use medicines in children’s hospice and palliative care settings.  The toolkit is jam packed with practical tips, new research, updated legislation and case examples and the new interactive format means that readers can link to documents at the click of a mouse.   We hope that the resource will help to keep the safety of children and young people at the heart of care.”

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  1. Hi Where can I download/how can I access the actual Safe Use of Medicines document I keep ending up at the webinar Kind Regards

    12 August, 2021
    Emma Pleass
  2. Hi Emma, The Safe Use of Medicines Toolkit is available to download from here: Thanks, Fiona

    16 November, 2021
    Fiona Williams