Commissioning prescribing services 

A medicines optimisation group oversees prescribing within Northumberland and there is representation from a GP director, a GP clinical lead and North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) Medicines Optimisation pharmacists.  The group works closely with the North of Tyne and Gateshead Area Prescribing Committees which also has members from the local hospitals and community pharmacy.  It was established to facilitate a cross-organisational approach to medicines management issues and clinical decision making which affect primary care, acute hospitals, mental health, learning disabilities and social care.

The vision of medicines optimisation for Northumberland is to ensure the right patients get the right choice of medicine at the right time.  By focusing on patients and their experiences, the goal is to help patients to improve their outcomes, take their medicines correctly, avoid taking unnecessary medicines, reduce waste of medicines and improve medicines safety.  Ultimately, medicines optimisation can help encourage patients to take ownership of their treatment.

In January 2016, following the merger of Newcastle North and East, Newcastle West and Gateshead CCGs the committee merged with the Gateshead Medicines Management Committee.

The Area Prescribing Committee (APC) serves the following participating organisations:

  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NUTH)
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTWT)
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHCT)
  • NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS North Tyneside  Clinical Commissioning Group
  • NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

The North of Tyne Area prescribing committee website is here.

Medicines with a positive NICE TAG recommendation are funded, when deemed the appropriate clinical choice for patients, no later than 90 days post NICE publication.

Northumberland CCG works across primary, secondary and community care to ensure a seamless journey for patients and their medication.  The CCG has completed significant work to ensure the correct formulary is followed in secondary and primary care.

Please view our latest annual report in order to see progress within prescribing.