Improving Safety in Medicines Management Award
Improving medicines safety award

Reducing medication-related harm in the NHS remains a high priority in the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, with a particular focus on reducing the estimated 237 million medication errors that occur in England every year, of which 66 million are potentially clinically significant. Whilst this is no new challenge for the NHS, the formation of ICSs provides a new angle and potential vehicle for change. This award seeks to recognise both organisations and systems that have reduced or eliminated drug errors.

Judges are interested in any initiative designed to improve safety in the use of medications. Initiatives could span several areas, including safe packaging and labelling design, safer prescribing methods, improvements in understanding of human-factor error, the use of metrics to drive a reduction in the risk of harm or changes to administration protocols. Judges are particularly keen to see how patient experience has improved as a result and that teams and organisations have worked together to solve a problem.


Entries are accepted from NHS organisations, ICSs and primary care pharmacy teams improving the safe administration of medicines.


  • Describe the context of the pharmacy and medicines operation, and why improvement was required.
  • Outline the goals and targets set for improvement, and the measures put in place to check efficacy.
  • Explain how the initiative aimed to ensure compliance with the latest best practice guidelines.


  • Evidence that the initiative has resulted in an improvement in medicines safety. This should be quantitative and can focus on one or more aspects of care.
  • Show how your work has directly contributed to the delivery of consistently high-quality care – this should have a quantitative aspect but can also include qualitative measures such as patient feedback.
  • What other benefits have been realised by the initiative?


  • Demonstrate how the initiative has embedded and spread throughout the organisation.
  • Alternatively, show how this work could be replicated and scaled in other settings or organisations.


  • Clearly evidence how the initiative has improved value for patients and staff, in terms of patient experience, staff satisfaction and quality of care.
  • Show the financial and operational value of the initiative, including in terms of reduced adverse events (and therefore investigatory or litigation costs) and/or improved efficiencies.
  • Provide testimonials from patients and stakeholders to help support the entry.


  • Provide clear evidence of a multidisciplinary approach, with all relevant parties fully involved in the work, including staff members as well as patients and families.
  • Show how stakeholders were kept engaged throughout the initiative.
  • Demonstrate how the initiative has helped develop a culture in which all members of staff can raise concerns and make suggestions for improvements.

To find out more

Partnership opportunities:  Natasha Dwyer, Head of Sponsorship Sales
Awards entry enquiries: Frank Willing, Delegate Sales Manager