Background

The NHS needs to improve warnings to GPs about medicines that can be dangerous or harmful for frail older people. Here we focus on anticholinergic medications (ACs) used to treat bladder, bowel and mood problems in older people. Common side effects include confusion and falls that often lead to hospital admission.

Aims & Objectives

Our overall aim is to improve quality of life, clinical outcomes and save NHS and social care costs.

We plan to develop a score using data from patients’ health records to predict if ACs are likely to increase harm. This score will run in a computer-based system designed with pharmacists and doctors to help them review patients’ medicines and reduce harm from ACs.

Methods

We will develop the score using information routinely collected by GPs. Anonymous records, with names and addresses removed, from 180,000 older people living in Bradford will be used to see how well the score predicts being admitted to hospital with confusion (delirium) or a fall. We will use similar data from Wales and Wirral to see if we get consistent results. We will test the medication review tool in GP surgeries to see if it reduces risky AC prescriptions, before offering it for national use.

Outputs

Clegg A, Rodgers S, Alderson S, Alldred D, Best K, Bonnett L, Buchan I, Farrin A, Foy R, Johnson O, Lawton R, Lawton T, McInerney C, Mehdizadeh D, Teale E, West R, Young B. Development of a learning system to optimise anticholinergic medication prescribing for older people living with frailty. HDR £329,077; 01/05/2020-31/03/2023.

Partners & Collaborators

Investigators
Clegg A, Rodgers S, Alderson S, Alldred D, Best K, Bonnett L, Buchan I, Farrin A, Foy R, Johnson O, Lawton R, Lawton T, McInerney C, Mehdizadeh D, Teale E, West R, Young B.

Timescales

01/05/2020 – 31/03/2023

Funding agency

HDR UK

Further information

For further information contact Professor Andrew Clegg