Largest UK medical school signs up to Better Meds Edu Programme

Manchester’s School of Medical Sciences, the largest medical school in the UK, and part of the University of Manchester, has today joined the Better Meds Edu Programme, bolstering the digital readiness of its students and equipping them for the demands of contemporary clinical practice. 

The move aims to equip Manchester University’s students with the knowledge and skills needed for electronic medicine prescribing and administration. Following the footsteps of other institutions such as Liverpool John Moores University, Hull York Medical School, Newcastle University School of Pharmacy, University College London, and the University of Plymouth, Manchester University’s commitment to Better Meds underscores its dedication to preparing future healthcare professionals for the digital transformation of medicine management.

Better Meds Edu Programme is designed to provide students with an immersive and comprehensive educational experience in electronic medication management, preparing them for the evolving landscape of clinical practice. This initiative introduces students to the principles of prescribing, reviewing, and administering medications electronically while emphasising the critical aspect of patient safety in this modern healthcare technology.

Hiten Mitha, senior lecturer and academic lead for MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine) prescribing and medicines safety at the University of Manchester said: “The University of Manchester Medical Programme is excited to begin a partnership with Better Meds. This will build on the current systems in place to ensure electronic prescribing and medicines management is fully embedded into the programme. 

“Undergraduate medical students will have hands-on experience of using this system where they can learn and prepare for clinical practice. This is vital to graduating clinicians, ensuring confident and competent consideration of patient safety in the current and future digital healthcare environment.”

In the UK, there are 45 medical schools, 30 pharmacy schools, and 90 nursing schools, collectively producing over 30,000 healthcare graduates annually. As traditional paper-based prescriptions become increasingly obsolete, the Meds Edu Programme empowers students to be active participants in the digital transformation of healthcare.

By incorporating the Better Meds platform into their curriculum, universities are armed with a tool to realistically prepare students for the electronic medication management systems they will encounter in clinical practice. It enables students to gain a deep understanding of the principles of prescribing, reviewing, and administering medications electronically, right from the classroom.

This is a benefit that those institutions that have adopted the Better Meds Edu Programme into the curriculum are keen to voice. Mark Arnold, a senior lecturer in adult nursing at Liverpool John Moores University, emphasised the importance of realistic training experiences. He explained: “As more hospitals move to electronic systems, we want to ensure our students have access to technology that will consistently deliver a realistic training experience.”

Students participating in the Meds Edu Programme are exposed to simulations of electronic medication management, clinical scenarios, and workflows that enable them to practise and enhance their decision-making skills in clinical practice. Dr Mark Murphy, senior lecturer in clinical simulation at Liverpool John Moores University, highlighted the broader scope of the programme, adding: “Better Meds is not only about medicine prescribing and administration but also patient safety, decision-making, and the development of clinical skills.”

Duncan Cripps, honorary associate professor at the University of Plymouth, agreed. He emphasised the need for authenticity and genuine preparation for life as a junior doctor, stating: “We wanted to ensure that what the students were encountering in the classroom reflected what they were seeing in the clinical environment.”

The Meds Edu programme enables universities and medical schools to set up realistic clinical simulations for students to practise their prescribing and decision making in a safe environment. Dr Kate Shemilt, a pharmacist and senior lecturer in clinical pharmacy at Liverpool John Moores University, explained: “We wanted to give our third year students a realistic environment for training in which we could provide instant feedback on what they did well, and what they could have done differently. 

“The influential part for them is not just using the ePMA system from a pharmacist perspective but being the prescriber as well.”

Manchester University’s decision to adopt Better’s Meds Edu Programme aligns with the global movement towards electronic healthcare management and underlines the institution’s commitment to providing its students with cutting-edge, industry-relevant education.

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