iSIMPATHY Project improving Patient Care and Safety

iSIMPATHY Project improving Patient Care and Safety

MOIC is one of the partners involved in a joint pharmacy project that has improved care for patients prescribed with multiple medicines.

The iSIMPATHY project, funded by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, worked with professionals in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to comprehensively review patient medication. Taking multiple medicines can be problematic if the increased risk of harm from interactions between drugs, or between drugs and diseases, outweighs the intended benefits.

Interim findings showed these interventions potentially prevented major organ failure, adverse drug reactions, avoided hospital admissions and saw patients moved to more appropriate medication. Project funding, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), was match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government. Scotland’s Public Health Minister Maree Todd said:

“This project looked at some of our most vulnerable patients taking more than five medications. The reviews have avoided adverse combinations of drugs and hospitalisations while also reducing prescriptions and drugs costs. We will know more when the full evaluation is published in June, we will work with partners to see how  these improvements can be applied more widely, potentially saving lives and money.”

Ireland’s Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly said:
“Medicines are the most common healthcare intervention used within the health system, and the use of the right medicine for the right patient at the right time is central to this. In the delivery of this project, pharmacists were strategically and ideally placed as medicines experts within a multidisciplinary team framework working to maximise therapeutic outcomes for optimal patient benefit. I’d like to thank all the partners involved in the iSIMPATHY project for their work to achieve this.”

Northern Ireland Department of Health Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Mrs Cathy Harrison said:
“I’m pleased to see the impact on patients and service users who have taken part in iSIMPATHY who are at the heart of the project’s aim to ensure the best and most sustainable use of medicines. iSIMPATHY has achieved this through training pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to deliver medicine reviews and embed a shared approach to managing multiple medicines. Northern Ireland has been delighted to collaborate with our partner regions to build on the success of previous projects dedicated to improving medicine safety.”

The project partners are:
• Scottish Government
• NHS Scotland
• Northern Health & Social Care Trust
• Medicines Optimisation Centre (MOIC) in Northern Ireland
• Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland.

For more information on iSIMPATHY please visit

Northern Trust pharmacist Siobhan Henry talks below about the benefits of working with the iSIMPATHY team when reviewing patient medication.

iSIMPATHY Learning Event

iSIMPATHY Learning Event

The iSIMPATHY Pharmacists from Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will come together in Belfast to share learning to date from their iSIMPATHY journey.

It is an opportunity to share messages from the project and personal highlights and thoughts on the legacy of the project.



Permanent Secretary Peter May visits MOIC

Permanent Secretary Peter May visits MOIC

Permanent Secretary Peter May recently visited MOIC and met with Director Professor Mike Scott and Deputy Director Dr. Glenda Fleming.

Also in attendance was Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison.

We discussed how MOIC are improving patient outcomes in Northern Ireland through better medicine use and are building collaborations throughout Europe.

MOIC Team take up the Hydration Challenge

MOIC Team take up the Hydration Challenge

This year the team in MOIC are focusing on Healthy Lifestyles and making small changes to our work week to improve energy levels, concentration and mood.

MOIC applied for funding under the Trust Health and Wellbeing and Inclusion programme promoting hydration initiative and we were delighted to be successful. We received water bottles, attended a webinar and received information packs. Throughout our offices we have also displayed posters and useful tips on how to stay hydrated in the workplace.

Healthcare Workers have a higher risk of dehydration as they are often working in warm, air conditioned environments and often work long shifts without taking breaks. MOIC have pledged to focus on hydration and small improvements and wish to thank the Trust Health and Wellbeing and Inclusion group for the tips and advice.