Getting the medicines right


Keeping patients safe when they transfer between care providers – getting the medicines right

Taking a medicine is the most frequent intervention that patients will use to improve their health. In particular, older people and those with long term conditions rely heavily on medicines as a way of managing their illnesses.  These patients, often taking multiple and complex regimens are some of the most vulnerable to problems with their medicines when they transfer care settings. Whether it’s from care homes or primary care to hospitals, or mental health hospitals to the community, or from hospitals back to primary care, these are times when the risk of things going wrong with medicines tends to increase.

It is the responsibility of all the professionals involved in the care of a patient to ensure the safe transfer of information about medicines. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, in collaboration with other royal colleges, patients, health and social care professionals has developed professional guidance that is closely mapped to a range of related national initiatives and guidance.

Health professionals and patients talk about how important it is to know about your medicines when you go into hospital

Publication partners or supporting organisations

Many organisations have contributed to the development of this good practice guidance. They share the RPS’s aim to increase awareness amongst professionals involved in the care of a patient of the need to ensure the safe transfer of information about medicines. To be effective, this can only be done with the patient’s needs firmly at the centre of our intentions and through professionalism and collaboration across professions.

To ensure that this guidance has as wide a reach as possible, many of the organisations who have been involved in the development process, and support the implementation of the guidance have become publication partners.

These organisations are:

partner logo Academy of Royal Medical Colleges
partner logo Bupa
partner logo Care Quality Commission
Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education
partner logo Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
partner logo Kidney Alliance
partner logo National Care Forum
partner logo NHS Employers
partner logo NIHR CLAHRC
partner logo Rowlands Pharmacy
partner logo Royal College of GPs
partner logo Royal College of Nursing
partner logo Royal College of Ophthalmologists
partner logo Royal College of Physicians
partner logo The Patients Association
partner logo Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee
partner logo Pharmacy Voice


A wide range of organisations and individuals contributed to the development and helped support the implementation of this guidance. Their contributions and expertise are gratefully acknowledged. The names and organisations of all those involved can be found on our contributors page.

Early adopters

The early adopter programme aimed "to improve the transfer of information about medicines when people change care settings."

Find out more »