National Poisons Information Service

A service commissioned by Public Health England




Members of the public

seeking specific

information on poisons

should contact:


In England and Wales:

NHS 111 - dial 111


In Scotland:

NHS 24 - dial 111


In N Ireland:

Contact your local GP or

pharmacist during

normal hours; click here

(www.gpoutofhours for GP

services Out-of-Hours.


In Republic of Ireland:

01 809 2166



professionals seeking

poisons information

should consult:

NPIS Annual Report 2018-2019 - released 23rd October 2019




The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is currently undertaking a stakeholder questionnaire assessing the accessibility and usefulness of the Annual Report.


Please complete a brief survey at the following link:


The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is the UK Departments of Health approved, and Public Health England commissioned, national service that provides expert advice on all aspects of acute and chronic poisoning.


The role of the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is to reduce the burden of healthcare associated with poisoning by the provision of rapidly available, consistent and evidence-based advice to front-line NHS healthcare professionals. The purpose of this advice is to facilitate optimal clinical management of patients with confirmed or suspected poisoning and those who are (or may be) exposed to medicines or other potential poisons during pregnancy. Where toxicity is low, NPIS offers advice to minimise unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions.


The service comprises four individual Units, based in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle. Each Unit is staffed by Consultant Clinical Toxicologists and Specialists in Poisons Information who work together to provide a seamless national service that has been established for 50 years.


The National Poisons Information Service is the service to which frontline NHS staff turn for advice on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients who have been - or may have been - poisoned, either by accident or intentionally.


NPIS is funded mainly through ‘Government Grant in Aid’ from the UK Health Departments, some contract income and some research income.


From the Foreword of the NPIS Annual Report 2018-19

The information and advice provided by the NPIS supports the high quality care of patients with suspected poisoning, not only improving the care of those at risk of serious complications, but also avoiding unnecessary referrals, admissions and treatments for those who are not at risk. As a result the services provided by the NPIS are highly cost-effective, as we have demonstrated previously.

This annual report is written as a statement of activity, accountability and governance of the NPIS during the 2018/19 reporting year. The service continues to receive outstanding user feedback, as detailed in this report and it remains our highest priority to provide services of the highest possible quality and safety within currently available resources. Ongoing funding pressures, however, are increasingly compromising our ability to keep TOXBASE updated and to maintain a robust 24-hour telephone service. Dealing with this remains the key challenge for the forthcoming year.



Simon Thomas

Chair, NPIS Clinical Standards Group


Raquel Duarte-Davidson

Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England



The National Poisons Information Service does not accept enquiries from the public but supports NHS 111 and NHS24 to answer such queries.