Updated Handbook of Perioperative Medicines launched

12, Nov 2019 Featured
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UKCPA have launched a revised and updated edition of the Handbook of Perioperative Medicines.

The Handbook contains information on how medicines are to be managed in adult patients in the perioperative period, a time when a patient often experiences interruption of medication regimens that are important for the treatment of other non-surgical comorbidities. It contains information pertaining to the risks and benefits of omitting, changing and continuing therapy during this period, and where possible how those risks can be managed.

I’m thrilled to be able to launch the updated edition of the Handbook of Perioperative Medicines in its new electronic format. I believe the developing and sharing of best practice in this way is a key function of our organisation and I hope there will be many more such projects.

Dr Ruth Bednall, Chair of UKCPA

This updated edition has been written by Sarah Tinsley, Advanced Clinical Lead Pharmacist Surgical Division at University Hospitals North Midlands, and Claire Frank, Lead Pre-operative Assessment Pharmacist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board. Specialist pharmacists and reviewers have ensured that the content is evidence-based and provides practical advice.

The revised edition is available online and is free to access: www.ukcpa-periophandbook.co.uk and has attracted endorsement from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Preoperative Association.

The Handbook of Perioperative Medicines provides national guidance to all healthcare professionals involved in or interested in perioperative medicines, including pharmacists, anaesthetists and ward-based surgical teams.

The Handbook aims to ensure unified practice for the management of adult patients’ regular medicines in the perioperative period, and to reduce the need for individual NHS Trusts to devise their own local guidelines, which leads to variations in practice across the NHS, introducing elements of risk, confusion and ambiguity across a multitude of treatment centres. The variation in practice is something recognised in the Carter review which identified that reduction of such variations would improve patient care and safety through compliance to national guidance.

Effective medicines optimisation at the time of surgery is essential to reduce harm to patients; the Handbook of Perioperative Medicines is an excellent resource to help achieve this.

Graeme Kirkpatrick, Head of Patient Safety (Advice & Guidance) at NHS England and NHS Improvement

The production of the Handbook supports patient safety initiatives in relation to medications which are aligned with the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. The Handbook is particularly relevant to Medication Safety in Transitions of Care, in particular the importance of medication reconciliation between care settings, appropriate prescribing and risk assessment of medication, and medication review, as well as Medication Safety in High-risk Situations, particularly the use of high-risk medicines and reduction of potential medication errors through healthcare providers having access to high-quality prescribing advice. 

My vision is that this will become the reference source for all perioperative medicines advice, ensuring patients receive the same high standard of care wherever they are undergoing surgery.

Sarah Tinsley, lead co-author

The Handbook was first published in 2016, led by Sophie Blow, a specialist in surgery and theatres clinical pharmacy, and written collaboratively by numerous contributors from the UKCPA Surgery & Theatres Group. Since its launch in 2016 it has become a recognised and much-needed resource for many health professionals working with patients undergoing surgery.

The Handbook has undergone a comprehensive review and revision of the original content, an improved layout, and the addition of over 60 new monographs covering multiple new areas of medicines. The free-to-access online format ensures that the guidance can be adopted nationally and referred to by any health professional at the point of contact with patients undergoing surgery. Revisions and additions will be made continually, reassuring health professionals that they are accessing the most up-to-date information.

The Handbook has been funded by UKCPA. Financial support has also been provided by Pfizer Limited as a Medical and Educational Goods and Service, and by a donation from AbbVie Ltd. The pharmaceutical companies have had no input into the content of the Handbook.