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UK Medicines Information | About UKMi

About UKMi

UK Medicines Information is an NHS pharmacy based service. Its aim is to support the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines by the provision of evidence-based information and advice on their therapeutic use.

The service has two broad functions:

  • to support medicines management within NHS organisations
  • to support healthcare professionals optimise use of medicines for individual patients

Who provides the service?

The UKMi service is provided by a network of:

  • 220 local medicines information centres based in the pharmacy departments of most hospital trusts
  • 14 regional centres
  • 1 national centres (Wales).

These centres work closely together to provide a 'virtual' national service. You can find your local medicines information centre in the UKMi Directory and the location of the regional centres on the home page.

The centres are staffed by pharmacists and technicians with clinical expertise, and particular skills in locating, assessing and interpreting information about medicines. A small number of centres are also supported by life science graduates.

What does the service offer?

Local and regional medicines information centres provide an enquiry answering service on all aspects of drug therapy. Examples of some of the questions addressed by the service are published as Medicines Q&As.

Local centres, largely based in hospitals, support thier organisation's clinical governance, medicines management and patient safety agenda through:

  • the clinical pharmacy service
  • formulary and Drug & Therapeutic/Prescribing Committee work
  • producing guidelines and Patient Group Directions.

Regional centres provide strategic support for Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units and NHS England, and Health Boards in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A number of regional centres host specialist advisory services (see under the UKMi activities tab) and may also function as Poison Information centres and as Yellow Card Centres for the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) of the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

The UKMi network produces a range of resources to support medicines management and patient safety initiatives across the NHS. Many are available through the NICE Evidence website, including Medicines Q&As and a comprehensive daily news service (MAD). Other resources are available through this (the UKMi) website and include:

  • Horizon scanning resources including the New Drugs Online (NDO) database and Prescribing Outlook
  • Fridge database
  • Drugs in lactation database
  • Patents database
  • Stability in compliance aids database
  • Information on medicines supply issues

Resources intended to support the UKMi network are also available from this website. They include:

·          clinical governance documents such as service standards, standard operating procedures and risk management policies, and the MI incident reporting scheme,

·          training resources such as the MI Workbook (password protected), MiCAL, training templates and details of national MI courses and the annual conference.

·          mi-uk – an email discussion group for the network

What is the UKMi Executive

UKMi Executive comprises the directors of the 15 regional / national centres. It provides leadership to the group and determines strategy. Minutes of the meetings of this group are available on this website.

Core values and principles of UKMi

  • To apply evidence-based principles in the provision of impartial, evaluated, accurate and timely information in a suitable format to promote the safe and effective use of medicines.
  • To provide professional advice to support and influence clinical decisions with respect to patient care and to enable the individual to make a balanced choice.
  • To keep abreast of developments in therapeutics, professional practice, technology and information sources to support continuing professional development within the specialty and to ensure that the service provided is as up to date as possible.
  • To be readily accessible and responsive to user needs.
  • To network with others to share information and experience at local, regional and national levels

PDF File  Briefing paper - November 2010 

Terms of Reference

PDF File  Terms of reference