Medicines Optimisation, and Pharmacy

Medicines prevent, treat or manage many illnesses or conditions and are the most common intervention in the NHS. 

The Medicines Optimisation and Pharmacy service at the ICB oversees and advises on the use of medicines that are available to patients across Hertfordshire and West Essex. These are medicines that you get through GP services, hospitals, community clinics, community pharmacies and care homes.  

We work to support the local NHS, health professionals and patients in lots of different ways.  

Medicines optimisation – making sure that health and care professionals use the best medication they can. By this we mean making sure that medication suits the patient, making sure it is taken for the time required, and stopping medication where it is no longer needed 

Medicines safety – learning from others and preventing errors and harm from medicines 

Agreeing the first and second choice of medicines used by hospital clinicians and GPs to create an official medicines list – called a ‘formulary’ – together with guidelines 

Managing online prescribing systems to help healthcare professionals use the locally recommended medicines choices. 

Educating clinical staff on new advances in medication. 

Medicines optimisation  

Medicines optimisation is about making sure that patients get the right choice of medicine at the right time and making sure medicines are taken correctly. This is more important than ever as patients are living longer with more complex conditions and with continual advances in treatment.   

We use our experience and knowledge to work with others to: 

  • Make sure that the medicines given to patients are used well and safely 
  • Encourage people to understand their medicines and become involved in their own care  
  • Improve people’s health outcomes and support people to stay as well and as independent as they can 
  • Avoid people taking unnecessary medicines and those that might be detrimental to them 
  • Reduce medicines waste. 

We do this by working with patients and all the health and care services that support them.