Following national policies and legislation

Medicines optimisation is about making sure we offer our patients the most cost and clinically effective medicines while ensuring that you have the right choice about the medicines you might take and at the right time.

Medicines represent the second largest spend in the NHS at £17.4 billion a year. With £1 in every £7 of this currently spent on medicines they are the most common intervention given to patients. 

As an Integrated Care System (ICS) we are looking at how we can work together to ensure that our investment in medicines is put to best use and are maximising outcomes for patients.  Part of this work involves reducing current spend on medicines where it is safe and clinically appropriate to do so. 

We are working at scale on a range of initiatives to try and achieve this.  These initiatives are themed under the following headings:

View the latest IPMO Plan

You can also found out more about the engagement process between VCSE/ Patient & Public / Healthwatch comments on the IPMO Transformation Plan on our 'Using Your Feedback' pages.

You can view a one page summary of the IPMO Plan here.

Recent NICE guidance (7 April 2021) advises that chronic primary pain can be managed with exercise programmes, CBT, acceptance and commitment therapy, and acupuncture.

Chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain and management of chronic primary pain – guidance (NG193)

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (SYB) ICS is collaborating with the West Yorkshire Research and Development (WYR&D) to carry out a CROP study across the SYB CCGs aiming to help prescribers reflect on previous practice and implement the NICE Chronic pain guidance

The CROP audit has been previously conducted across CCGs in West Yorkshire, and proved to be very successful in helping prescribers manage their prescribing of opioid analgesics and significantly reduce opioid analgesic prescribing across West Yorkshire.


CCG’s across SYB are working with GP practises and care homes to set up proxy access for care home staff.

Proxy access provides access to people nominated by the patient to manage aspects of the patient’s GP online services account e.g. to order repeat prescriptions.

Once set up for proxy ordering, care home staff will able to order repeat medicines on behalf of their residents through the GP system by using Proxy access. Staff get their own account to login to the GP system. The access will be limited and Care home staff will not be given access to the GP clinical system or the patient’s full record.

NHS England » Ordering medication using proxy access: Guidance for care homes, GP practices and community pharmacies

Discharge from hospital can be associated with increased risk of avoidable medication related harm. NICE guideline NG056 included the following recommendations to be considered as part of patient discharge process from the hospital.

a) Medicines-related communication systems should be in place when patients move from one care setting to another.

b) Medicines reconciliation processes should be in place for all persons discharged from a hospital or another care setting back into primary care and the act of reconciling the medicines should happen within a week of the patient being discharged.

Implementation of these recommendations requires pharmacy professionals and their teams across hospitals, primary care networks (PCNs) and community pharmacy to work together much more effectively. Improving medicines safety at transfers of care forms part of our Medicines Safety Improvement Programme. ((Discharge Medicines Service Tool kit, NHS England).

NHS England published its guidance on Leading Integrated Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation in September 2020.  ipmo-programme-briefing.pdf (

Following this, SYB ICS developed an IPMO transformation program plan that will deliver the optimal use of medicines to improve patient outcomes across the ICS footprint. Through strong collaborative working with partners across organisations to improve, integrate and innovate pharmacy services across all sectors.

View the latest IPMO Plan for SYB (November 2021)