Doctor consulting man about patient safety

New patient safety centre launches in Northern Ireland

A new ‘yellow card’ centre has been launched on behalf of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has announced.

The new centre will be the sixth of its kind in the UK and has been commissioned to promote patient safety.

The MHRA’s yellow card scheme gives patients and health professionals a mechanism through which they can report suspected safety concerns in relation to healthcare products.

This encompasses everything from potential side effects and adverse incidents, all the way to fake healthcare products.

The service will be hosted at the Belfast Health and Social Trust due to its strong clinical pharmacology department, drug safety leadership and outreach work, according to MHRA.

Speaking at the centre’s launch, Professor Cathy Harrison who is the chief pharmaceutical officer for Northern Ireland, said: "It is fitting that the launch of the Yellow Card centre for Northern Ireland coincides with World Patient Safety Day on 17 September, with this year’s theme of ‘Engaging patients for patient safety’. The Yellow Card scheme puts the patient voice at its heart.”

She continued: “By voluntarily reporting issues, patients, families and care givers can play a crucial role in their own care, and the safety of healthcare as a whole. I welcome the launch of the new regional centre and would encourage anyone who has suspected safety concerns to report them.”

Regional lead pharmacist for the centre, Paula King, added: "The Yellow Card centre aims to improve awareness and education about the MHRA Yellow Card scheme to enable and empower our patients, health professionals, and local partners across Northern Ireland to Yellow Card report for medicines and healthcare products."

Image credit: iStock

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