NPC Archive Item: Medicines Reconciliation – Update & Extra Resource

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.

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The NPC’s guide to the implementation of medicines reconciliation was launched on the 29th February 2008. The purpose of the document is to give practical guidance to healthcare professionals, support staff and managers on how to ensure that, each time a patient’s care is transferred from one care setting to another, a minimum dataset of accurate and timely information about that patient’s medicines is communicated to the next person responsible for his or her care. This guide is now available electronically, along with other resources and materials, on NPC – click here

In addition to the materials on the NPC, there is now a discussion group dedicated to medicines reconciliation, where healthcare professionals and managers can post ideas and questions, or start discussions on current medicines reconciliation issues. This discussion group can be found at we hope that you will register for this extra resource and find it useful.

What is the background to this? – Medicines reconciliation has a high priority within the NHS, following the NICE and NPSA publication of the technical patient safety solution for medicines reconciliation on admission of adults to hospital.

But of course the risks involved when medicines are not reconciled are not confined to the admission of adults to hospital – they occur at any transfer of patient care including discharge from secondary to primary care, transfer from an acute hospital to an intermediate setting, and even transfer from ward to ward within the same organisation. This is why the NPC guidance refers to medicines reconciliation across all interfaces of care.


  • Medicines reconciliation is high priority for the NHS
  • There are a number of resources available, including those on NPC
  • There is now a new discussion group dedicated to medicines reconciliation for you to sign-up to

How does this relate to other publications or evidence? – The concept of medicines reconciliation was brought to the forefront by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a not-for-profit organisation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which developed an initiative called the 100,000 lives campaign, which has since developed into the 5 million lives campaign! You can view their how-to guide, along with other information about preventing harm from adverse drug events, on their website at

Action – If you are involved with the transfer of patients from one care setting to another, and are concerned about how information about patients medicines is communicated, sign up now to the medicines reconciliation discussion group and start to share your ideas or pose questions to other like-minded healthcare professionals

Item details

  • “Medicines reconciliation: a guide to implementation” was published by the NPC on 29th February 2008
  • The NICE and NPSA “Technical patient safety solution for medicines reconciliation on admission of adults to hospital” was published on the 12th December 2007

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