Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Exploration of prescribing error reporting across primary care: a qualitative study

Hall, Nicola, Bullen, Kathryn, Sherwood, John, Wake, Nicola, Wilkes, Scott and Donovan, Gemma (2022) Exploration of prescribing error reporting across primary care: a qualitative study. BMJ Open, 12 (1). ISSN 2044-6055

Item Type: Article


To explore barriers and facilitators to prescribing error reporting across primary care.

Qualitative semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted to explore facilitators and barriers to reporting prescribing errors. Data collection and thematic analysis were informed by the COM-B model of behaviour change. Framework analysis was used for coding and charting the data with the assistance of NVivo software (V.12). General and context specific influences on prescribing error reporting were mapped to constructs from the COM-B model (ie, capability, opportunity and motivation).

Primary care organisations, including community pharmacy, general practice and community care from North East England.

We interviewed a maximal variation purposive sample of 25 participants, including prescribers, community pharmacists and key stakeholders with primary care or medicines safety roles at local, regional and national levels.

Our findings describe a range of factors that influence the capability, opportunity and motivation to report prescribing errors in primary care. Three key contextual factors are also highlighted that were found to underpin many of the behavioural influences on reporting in this setting: the nature of prescribing; heterogeneous priorities for error reporting across and within different primary care organisations; and the complex infrastructure of reporting and learning pathways across primary care. Findings suggest that there is a lack of consistency in how, when and by whom, prescribing errors are reported across primary care.

Further research is needed to identify cross-organisational and interprofessional consensus on agreed reporting thresholds and how best to facilitate a more collaborative approach to reporting and learning, that is, sensitive to the needs and priorities of disparate organisations across primary care. Despite acknowledged challenges, there may be potential for an increased role of community pharmacy in prescribing error reporting to support future learning.

130488.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (671kB) | Preview

More Information

Depositing User: Gemma Donovan


Item ID: 13408
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2044-6055
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Scott Wilkes: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2022 10:29
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 10:30


Author: Scott Wilkes ORCID iD
Author: Nicola Hall
Author: Kathryn Bullen
Author: John Sherwood
Author: Nicola Wake
Author: Gemma Donovan

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Sciences > Health Sciences
Sciences > Nursing
Sciences > Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item