A new information standard has been created to improve the sharing of allergy and medication intolerance data across the health service in England.

The tool standardises medicine message content to enable transfer of prescription information across health and care settings in England.

It is hoped a standardised approach to sharing this information will reduce medicines related errors and, ultimately, improve patient safety.

The standard will enable medicines information to be shared between NHS and social care organisations including hospitals, GP practices, care homes, mental health trusts and pharmacies.

As well as providing clinicians with a more detailed and consistent source of medicines related information across all care settings, it will also enable healthcare professionals to obtain that information quickly and efficiently.

Dr Simon Eccles, deputy chief executive and CCIO at NHSX, said: “This new standard will make medicine prescribing safer for patients and easier for clinicians, reducing errors in prescription and improving the monitoring of medications that can cause harm.

“This is the result of a true collaborative effort between NHSX, NHS Digital, industry and the frontline that will make a real difference to the care and support local clinicians can provide to their patients.”

Coming into effect on March 31, 2023 the standard was commissioned by NHSX and developed alongside NHS Digital in consultation with INTEROPen, the Professional Record Standards Body, UK FHIR and The Interoperable Medicine Standards Working Group, which has over 150 members from the NHS including users, developers, and IT system suppliers.

Shahzad Ali, NHS Digital clinical lead for the interoperable medicines programme, added: “Having access to good quality information is critical for clinicians when making decisions about the patients in their care. As a practising clinician, I have seen first-hand the burden clinicians can face when medicines information is incomplete or inconsistent.

“This new Standard will save healthcare professionals valuable time accessing key medicines information, provide clinicians with access to a richer source of information, consistent across all care settings, and, in turn, help reduce potential medicines related errors and improve patient safety.”