You remain professionally responsible and accountable for your own actions when using our advice and guidance.

Your responsibilities

The advice and recommendations in our publications represent the view of NHS SPS, arrived at after careful consideration and with reference to evidence where available.

Professionals and practitioners should use our guidance together with their own judgement. Their decisions should consider the individual needs, preferences and values of patients or people using their services. It is not mandatory to apply our recommendations. And our guidance does not override your professional responsibility to make patient-centred decisions appropriate to the individual, in consultation with them and their families, carers or guardians.

Adverse events related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Our content

The majority of the content on our website has been prepared by NHS SPS and where content is from other organisations this is clearly indicated. Our content is intended for use by NHS healthcare professionals in England and must not be used for commercial or marketing purposes. Healthcare professionals operating outside the UK should be aware our content is aligned to healthcare policy in England. Specific considerations apply to use of our content in different areas.

Clinical content

Our clinical content is delivered via webinars, podcasts, videos and articles.

Many articles relate solely to the clinical scenario described. You are strongly advised to read the entire article, and consider limitations highlighted. If you have doubts about whether the scenario is relevant to a specific patient we recommended that you seek further help.

Our content is believed to be an accurate reflection of the clinical evidence and expert consensus opinion at the time of publication. However, users may also wish to consult primary literature and take account of new developments.

Fridge Tool

Our Refrigerated Medicines Stability tool is for use by registered healthcare professionals to inform their assessment of the impact of a temperature excursion on a medicine. It should be used in conjunction with our advice on temperature storage of medicines.

The tool gives recommendation on whether a refrigerated medicine may be suitable for use after being exposed to a temperature excursion. Recommendations are based on:

  • information contained within the summary of product characteristics for the medicine
  • advice from manufacturers, where available

The tool contains information that is both within and outside the product licence. You can choose to just view information from the product licence or include extended stability data too. Use of a medicine subsequent to exposure that is outside the product licence requires professional judgement since it would consitute an off-label use.

We only add entries to this tool where we are able to provide direction and recommendations. Therefore if a fridge medicine is not present on our tool, we have been unable to publish anything useful. In these circumstances you may wish to contact the manufacturer directly for advice.

All entries are reviewed on a 12-month rolling basis.

MCA Stability Tool

Our Medicines in Compliance Aids (MCA) stability tool gives recommendations on whether individual solid dose forms (tablets and capsules) can be transferred from the manufacturers’ original packaging for use in multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs). Recommendations are based on:

  • physico-chemical stability and characteristics of the medicine and its formulation(s)
  • advice from manufacturers, where available

Most entries are based on a lead brand with information extrapolated to generic products. Some medicines and dose forms are not included at all: for example, oral chemotherapy agents, since it is widely accepted that these medicines are not suitable for use in MCAs; and all effervescent or dispersible tablets, for the same reason.

Our MCA stability information does not endorse the routine use of MCAs. For some patients, there may not be an alternative way to achieve safe medicine administration and the use of MCAs is likely to continue. However, as is covered in RPS guidance, the use of original packs and appropriate pharmaceutical support is the preferred option.

Medicines Monitoring Tool

Our Medicines Monitoring tool makes recommendations on the monitoring requirements for medicines. The list of medicines reflects the majority of those used in primary and shared care requiring monitoring, but we do not cover every medicine for which monitoring might be necessary.

The monitoring parameters given are derived from a range of guidelines, general reference sources and expert opinion; they are best-practice suggestions.

The final judgement regarding the need for any clinical test and its result must be made by the prescribing practitioner, and should consider individual patient circumstances.

Medicines Supply Tool

The Medicines Supply Tool contains latest information on supply issues, actions to take, alternatives to use, and expected resolution dates. This content is provided and maintained by the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Medicines Supply Team and NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU).

Medicines Planning

The aim of our medicines planning content (including our annual document Prescribing Outlook) is to inform decisions about managed entry of new medicines and medicines management more generally within the NHS. The data within these documents is not for commercial purposes or for any means of financial gain.

Patient Group Direction (PGD) templates

PGD templates reflect nationally recognised guidance and are developed by Short Life Working Groups (SLWGs), including Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and relevant national clinical bodies. Their development follows an established process through the SPS Medicines Governance Do Once (MGDO) Programme Board oversight.

The aim of PGD templates is to reduce duplication and variation, improving consistency of care.

Contact us

Get in touch with us if you need clarification or support with any of our NHS SPS content.