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:

Feedback from users - TOXBASE

Formal quality assurance is obtained from TOXBASE users using an online questionnaire. A selection of users are automatically asked to complete and submit one of a series of short quality assurance forms during their online session. To combat user fatigue, differing forms are presented throughout the year. Invitations are generated every five to 15 database logins; this number is varied throughout the year. A total of 881 returns were received during the 2016/17 reporting year. On type of enquiry (147 responses), 56.5% users reported that they primarily used TOXBASE for ‘routine enquiries’, 28.6% for a ‘triage decision’ and 15.0% for ‘complex enquiries’. On frequency of use (147 responses), 40.8% reported using TOXBASE weekly, 36.1% occasionally, and 23.1% daily.


Users were asked to grade a series of statements on a scale of one to six where one = disagree completely, and six = agree completely. Satisfaction scores were high (Table 5.2.3). Of those asked to indicate their overall satisfaction with TOXBASE on a scale of one to six (590 responses), 547 (92.7%) scored either five (good) or six (excellent).


Table 1. Summary of user satisfaction scores
*satisfaction score is the proportion of respondents who agree ‘completely’ (6) or ‘a lot’ (5)


TOXBASE user feedback and service improvements

An important component in the review process of TOXBASE entries is user feedback. Feedback may be received from a variety of sources including TOXBASE quality assurance forms, questionnaires linked to products of interest, responses to follow up on cases of interest, or by email, letter or telephone. Users may raise queries or provide clinical data. Issues specific to entries are dealt with as they arise or may be collated for discussion at the TOXBASE Editing Group or Clinical Standards Group meetings.


TOXBASE quality assurance forms: free text comments

Of the 881 returns, 182 (20.7%) included free text comments which can be grouped as shown in Table 2. The few negative comments centred on the appearance of the website, navigation around the database, and identifying the salient information; improvements to update the ‘usability’ and look of TOXBASE are due to be implemented over the coming year.


Table 2. Summary of free text comments on TOXBASE from quality assurance returns
*users often offered multiple comment types within one response


Box 1 gives examples of comments about TOXBASE from returned forms.


Box 1. Examples of comments about TOXBASE from quality assurance returns


“TOXBASE is, in my experience, one of the best web-based decision support tools available.”

“Love TOXBASE. Service is fantastic”

“This is a compact and yet quite comprehensive software package on toxicology that is invaluable to us at the Poison Control Centre”

“Very informative and in depth guidance though layout requires one to concentrate - could be made a bit more user friendly - I'm not complaining though”

“Good reference source I can trust”

“Excellent resource in Emergency Medicine. Thank you”

“Great help for us telephone triage nurses. Thank you for the service”

“This is a chuffing excellent facility!!!!”

“Website appearance and navigation is dated in appearance, however very functional”

“Always reliable, user friendly and clinically relevant – many thanks!”

“As a 111 clinician I could not perform my role without this wonderful service”

“Today I found all the information that I needed really quickly but sometimes it is difficult to navigate around the system”

“TOXBASE is so helpful for ED docs, we could not do our job with you!”

“Extremely useful service making a very valuable contribution to patient care. Working in Emergency Medicine would be much harder without TOXBASE.”


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