A uniform national service
Although the NPIS is provided by Units embedded in separate NHS Trusts, a uniform national service is ensured by the following arrangements:
- Each Unit holds a contract for provision of services to Public Health England. These contracts are in a common format and include key performance indicators;
- Each Unit has at least one formal meeting with commissioners each year to review progress against their contract and to agree a contract and budgets for the subsequent year. In addition, we develop and agree NPIS policy at Commissioning meetings which take place quarterly.
- All NPIS Units work to common national standards as detailed in agreed operational procedures;
- All telephone enquiries are recorded on the UK Poisons Information Database (UKPID), software specifically developed for this purpose. Comprehensive data protection arrangements that comply with national requirements are in place;
- The NPIS Clinical Standards Group meets quarterly to develop and finalise clinical advice and discuss clinical governance issues. In addition, the Group discusses urgent issues more frequently by teleconference;
- The TOXBASE editing group meets quarterly to edit and agree TOXBASE entries;
- NPIS National Continuing Professional Development meetings take place quarterly, with the location rotating around the NPIS Units. These are open to all NPIS staff and have sessions designed for Specialists in Poisons Information and for clinicians;
- The UKPID user group meets regularly to discuss operational issues relating to enquiry logging software.