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News and updates from
  1. Andrew Wilcock1 and
  2. Sarah Charlesworth2
  1. 1Palliative Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Hayward House Study Centre,, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sarah Charlesworth, Hayward House Study Centre,, NUH City Campus, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK; s.charlesworth{at}

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The website has provided essential independent information about drugs used in palliative and hospice care for over a decade. It contains the online Palliative Care Formulary (PCF) and provides free access to a Bulletin board to stimulate questions and share experiences, a Document library containing 475 items of useful information and a Syringe Driver Survey Database containing details of over 2350 different drug combinations. Territory-specific book versions (the UK Palliative Care Formulary 5th edition, Hospice and Palliative Care Formulary USA 2nd edition and Palliative Care Formulary Canadian edition), a PDF version of the PCF and subscription to the continually updated online PCF can also be purchased via the website. This feature provides a selection of items that have featured in the News and Latest additions sections in recent months; for additional information, please register for free on the website.

Safety updates

Patient safety alert for potassium permanganate

National Health Service (NHS) England has issued a patient safety alert (NHS/PSA/W/2014/18) warning of the risk of death or serious harm from accidental ingestion of potassium permanganate products. Potassium permanganate products are for external use only and are available as a solution for further dilution and as a tablet preparation, which is dissolved in water.

Patient safety alert for low-molecular-weight heparin

NHS England has issued a patient safety alert (NHS/PSA/W/2015/001) warning of the risk of harm from using low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) when contraindicated, and highlighting the importance of assessing each patient individually as to whether the benefits of using LMWHs outweigh the risks. This follows several reports of harm or death. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.