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:


A clinical toxicology e-learning resource was first developed by NPIS (Edinburgh Unit) in 2005. It has been available to NHS healthcare professionals across the UK in its current form (Figure 1) since December 2013 at


The resource was initially created to train new NHS 24 centre staff in Scotland, but has been developed over time to deliver a series of modules designed to improve knowledge of the clinical management of poisoned patients for doctors, nurses and pharmacists in hospitals and general practice, ambulance personnel, staff of NHS 111, NHS 24 and NHS Direct and other healthcare professionals. The NPIS recommends that TOXBASE users of all types and grades complete the ‘Using TOXBASE’ module (see Box 1).


Box 1. TOXlearning module details


Module 1 – Using TOXBASE


This module, which represents 75 minutes of learning, is designed to assist new and existing TOXBASE users to use the database more effectively


Module 2 – Clinical management of the poisoned patient


This module, which represents 180 minutes of learning, includes units on:
- general aspects of poisoning
- problematic poisons
- common poisons
- drugs of misuse


Module 3 – Management of patients involved in chemical incidents


This module, which represents 210 minutes of learning, includes units on:
- decontamination and incident management
- factory and motor vehicle accidents
- leaks and contamination
- riots and potential deliberate release


The number of registered users increased from 2,878 on 31 March 2016 to 4,083 on 31 March 2017, an increase of 42%, with 92% of current users coming from the UK. The top user groups were nurses (30%), ambulance/paramedical staff (27%), doctors (17%) and medical/nursing students (10%).The most common workplaces were NHS 111, NHS 24 and NHS Direct (27%), ambulance services (19%), and hospital emergency departments (11%).


The resource is used by an average of 77 users per month (range 50-100 unique logins). Registration and access are free; users can work through courses at their own pace, save their work, obtain their scores and print off their results for continuing professional development files.


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