Structure and activities

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Chapter: Hospital pharmacy : Medicines information

The first MI services in the UK were established at the London Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary in 1969, followed over the next 10 years by a UK-wide network of local and regional services.


Structure and activities

 

The first MI services in the UK were established at the London Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary in 1969, followed over the next 10 years by a UK-wide network of local and regional services. This was supported by recommendations from a working party of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Local MI centres were established in about 270 mainly acute hospitals, largely providing a service to their base hospital and associated local healthcare community. This number had reduced to approximately 220 by 2010 with rationalisation and health service reforms. Twenty regional MI centres, including national centres in Wales and Northern Ireland, and four regional centres in Scotland have subsequently been reduced to 15, again through a series of NHS reorgan-isations. These services have been brought together in a structured and coordinated national network (UK Medicines Information: UKMi), to which both local and regional services contribute skills, expertise, know-ledge and resources. The network is coordinated and provided with stra-tegic leadership by a national representative body, the UKMi Executive (previously known as the UK Medicines Information Pharmacists Group).

 

MI services in the UK have developed on a hierarchical basis in which all the levels of service provision provide mutual support through a network that encourages and promotes effective provision of services. Support is for all levels of healthcare from point of care to national strategic development. Figure 8.1 summarises the structure and relationships. Each level undertakes a range of activities that is most appropriate to the users of the service, produces maximum benefit of scale and reduces duplication, at and between operational levels.

 


Table 8.1 sets out these activities. The development of these services has been well described and supported in the professional literature as well as being recognised by government and other official organisa-tions.


 

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