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Medicines Safety 

The PSNC patient safety information page provided a summary of patient safety notifications (previously referred to as alerts and recalls), advice and guidance relating to patient safety, and a link to the MHRA monthly drug safety updates. See https://psnc.org.uk/contract-it/essential-service-clinical-governance/patient-safety-incident-reporting/patient-safety-information/.



CPWY Medicines Safety Newsletters

Please see our Medicines Safety Newsletters below.  If you wish to receive future editions of the Medicines Safety Newsletter please click here to sign up to our mailing list. 

Medicines Safety Newsletter: Issue 1 - October 2017

Medicines Safety Newsletter: Issue 2 - February 2018

Medicines Safety Newsletter: Issue 3 - June 2018

Medicines Safety Newsletter: Issue 4 - January 2019

Medicines Safety Newsletter: Issue 5 - July 2019



Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group 

The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group provides a forum for community pharmacy organisations to openly share and learn from each other when things go wrong, as well as from other sectors and industries and it is their Report, Learn, Act, Review principles which we at Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire actively promote.  


The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group has a website which includes lots of helpful resources for community pharmacy teams – see https://pharmacysafety.org/



Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22 – Safety Report & Demonstrable Learnings from the CPPE LASA e-Learning

Details of the PQS for 2021/22 were published in August 2021 and can be accessed from the PSNC website at https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/pharmacy-quality-scheme/

The second Gateway Criterion for this year’s PQS is to undertake a Patient Safety Report and demonstrate learnings from the CPPE LASA e-Learning programme (on the day of the declaration, all registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy must have completed the CPPE reducing look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) errors e-Learning and passed the e-assessment). 

Templates to support contractors to complete Patient Safety Reports on an annual and monthly basis are available on the PSNC website here.



Fire Risk with Emollient Use

Warnings about the risk of severe and fatal burns are now being extended to ALL emollients, whether paraffin-based or not.  See latest (Dec 18) MHRA guidance here.

Patients treated with emollients must be made aware of the potential fire risks associated with these products.  This includes paraffin-based emollients  (regardless of strength) AND paraffin-free emollients and includes products used for washing and showering.  

Patients who smoke or use a naked flame may cause clothing, bedding or bandages to catch fire as dressings and clothing soaked with the emollient can be easily ignited.  Community pharmacy teams have an essential role to play in advising patients not to smoke; use naked flames (or be near people who are smoking or using naked flames); or go near anything that may cause a fire while emollients are in contact with their medical dressings or clothing.


When dispensing/selling emollient products all patients should be advised that:

  • Emollients are an important and effective treatment for chronic dry skin conditions and people should continue to use these products. However, there is a fire risk associated with the build-up of residue on clothing and bedding and patients must take action to minimise the risk
  • Patients should be told to keep away from open or gas fires or hobs and naked flames, including candles etc. and not to smoke when using emollient products because clothing or fabric such as bedding or bandages that have been in contact with an emollient or emollient-treated skin can rapidly ignite.
  • There is a fire risk with all paraffin-containing emollients, regardless of paraffin concentration, and it also cannot be excluded with paraffin-free emollients. A similar risk may apply for other products which are applied to the skin over large body areas, or in large volumes for repeated use for more than a few days
  • Washing clothing or fabric at a high temperature may reduce emollient build-up but not totally remove it.

Warnings, including an alert symbol, are being added to packaging to provide a visual reminder to patients and those caring for them about the fire hazard.  Please also take care to ensure that any flammability warnings on the product are not covered up.

Patients should be given both verbal and written information on the potential fire risks. It is recommended that a record of information provided is kept on the PMR and communicated on regular occasions.


Further Resources


Peanut Allergy

Following the recommendation from the MHRA that patients known to be allergic to peanuts should not use medicines containing arachis oil, the South West Yorkshire Area Medicines Safety Group developed the following useful peanut allergy bulletin.

Last Updated: 15th October 2021