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 from TOXBASE users is obtained 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 780 returns were received between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016. On type of enquiry (355 responses), 53.8% users reported that they primarily used TOXBASE for ‘routine enquiries’, 27.6% for a ‘triage decision’ and 18.6% for ‘complex enquiries’. On frequency of use (355 responses), 43.9% reported using TOXBASE weekly, 23.1% daily and 32.7% only occasionally. 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 1). Of those asked to indicate their overall satisfaction with TOXBASE (355 responses) 325 (91.5%) scored either five or six, on a scale of one to six where one = poor and 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 780 returns, 175 (22.4%) included free text comments which can be grouped as shown in Table 2.


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


The few negative comments centred on the search facility; improvements are due to be implemented on this aspect over the coming year. Box 1 gives examples of positive comments about TOXBASE from returned forms.


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


“Excellent reference tool with professional NPIS backup if required.”


“I have always found TOXBASE an excellent and definitive source of information on poisons and toxins.”


“Thank you for providing this excellent and reliable service.”


“I am always glad that TOXBASE advice is always thorough but not excessive, always to the point and in particular never evasive.”


“TOXBASE is a brilliant resource and has helped me to manage patients and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions on many occasions. I only wish all health resources were as easy to use and informative as this site.”


“A very useful tool in A&E. Makes our practice much easier and of course safer.”

“A great asset for toxicology information.”


“TOXBASE is brilliant – don't know where I’d be without it!”


“Your site is formidable in all ways!”


Information from the NPIS Annual Report 2015/16.


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