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Yellow Card centre launched in Northern Ireland to strengthen patient safety

The Yellow Card centre in Northern Ireland will be the sixth UK satellite centre acting on behalf of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It will have a vital educational and outreach role, aiming to encourage patients and healthcare professionals to report any suspected adverse incidents associated with medicines and medical devices to the Yellow Card scheme. The centre will routinely deliver local training and education, and promote safety messages from the MHRA to healthcare professionals and patient groups.

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) has been selected by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to host the latest Yellow Card centre given its strong clinical pharmacology department, leadership in drug safety engagement and outreach work.

The data provided by Yellow Card reports contributes to the MHRA’s continuous safety monitoring of medicines and medical devices.

Dr Alison Cave, MHRA Chief Safety Officer, said:

“We are delighted to support the launch of a new Yellow Card centre in Belfast which will help to further improve the safety of healthcare products in the UK.

“Every report made by a patient, healthcare professional or carer plays a crucial role in helping us to gain further knowledge about the risks of medicines and medical devices in clinical use, and allows us to take action, when necessary, to minimise the risk of harm to patients. Patient safety is our top priority.

“Reporting suspected side effects and adverse incidents, including defective or fake healthcare products, to the Yellow Card scheme helps to improve the safety of medicines and medical devices for all patients. By reporting, you could be helping those who are most vulnerable and at risk of potential harm.

“If you, your child, or a patient in your care experiences a suspected side effect or adverse reaction related to a medicine or medical device, we urge you to report it to us as soon as possible. The faster you report, the more likely it is that we can intervene and prevent any possible risks to patients.”

Notes to Editors

  1. There are six MHRA-commissioned regional Yellow Card centres across the UK: Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Newcastle, and now Belfast.

  2. The Yellow Card scheme enables the MHRA to monitor safety concerns such as suspected side effects or adverse incidents involving healthcare products. These include medicines, vaccines, blood factors and immunoglobulin products, medical devices, e-cigarettes and complementary therapies such as homeopathies. The scheme also collates information about suspected safety concerns involving defective, falsified or fake healthcare products.

  3. Yellow Card reports can be submitted online or via the Yellow Card scheme app. If you are a healthcare professional in Northern Ireland, medical device incidents should be reported via the Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Centre (NIAIC).

  4. By voluntarily reporting issues, patients can play a crucial role in their own care, and the safety of others. Please see the case studies published on the Yellow Card website which highlight the difference that reporting makes.

  5. For more information, please refer to the Belfast HSCT’s press release.

  6. For media enquiries, please contact the [email protected].

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