KidzMed – Network North

Project lead: Dr Yincent Tse (The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

High risk medicines in children: Getting the right drug, the right dose, the right strength and the right monitoring easily and safely for children wherever they live in the North East and North Cumbria.

Advances in medicine means children in all corners of our region are living with rare diseases with good quality of life. This comes with the need to see multiple teams both community and specialists who prescribe and monitor multiple complex medications.

Currently there are numerous permutations by which a child can obtain prescriptions from community services (e.g. nurses, pharmacies), primary, secondary or tertiary care. Then parents have to take the prescription to a local pharmacy that can have different processes in verifying and dispensing. Many medications are specials and some are only available by being sent directly from hospital pharmacies or home delivery teams.

Communicating medication changes (between family, community, GP, local hospital and Children’s Hospital) and ensuring adequate monitoring can be haphazard. Duplication or omission at all levels of prescribing, administration and dispensing anecdotally often occur. For parents, it can be unclear where, who or how they should approach when there are questions or if they run out of particular medication. Navigating this labyrinth of complex system is expensive and taxing for family and NHS staff.

The aim of our project is to streamline and make it safe and easy for children to get the medicine they need wherever they live in our region.