General practice - a one-stop resource for general practice

General practice staff use and manage a wide range of medicines and medical devices, and this page has been specifically adapted to their needs. It includes guidance, safety alerts and links to educational material to assist those working in general practice in the safe use and management of medicines and medical devices.

Latest news and hot topics

20 Mar 2014 | MHRA and NHS England in initiative to simplify adverse incident reporting

MHRA and NHS England have jointly issued two patient safety alerts and supporting guidance to help simplify reporting involving medication errors and medical devices.

19 Mar 2014 | Medical device stand-alone software (including apps)

The MHRA has today published guidance on medical device stand-alone software (including apps).

13 Mar 2014 | Medical Device Alert: Infusion pumps: GemStar infusion system manufactured by Hospira (MDA/2014/010)

This Medical Device Alert is being issued as there is a risk of delay to patient therapy due to loss of audio alarms manufactured by Hospira. The connection between the beeper subassembly and pump may fail so that only visual alarms will be available.

13 Mar 2014 | Medical Device Alert: FreeStyle Mini® and FreeStyle® blood glucose monitoring systems manufactured by Abbott Diabetes Care (MDA/2014/009)

This Medical Device Alert is being issued as there is a risk of the blood glucose meters giving incorrect low blood glucose results when they are used with FreeStyle Lite and FreeStyle blood glucose test strips.

10 Mar 2014 | Medical Device Alert: Insulin infusion pump manufactured by Roche Diagnostics Ltd (MDA/2014/008)

This Medical Device Alert is being issued as there is a risk of delay of treatment when using insulin infusion pumps manufactured by Roche Diagnostics Ltd.

The unwanted display of the text is removed here...dont delete this

Drug Safety Update

Drug Safety Update banner
Drug Safety Update is our monthly newsletter for healthcare professionals, bringing you information and clinical advice on the safe use of medicines.
The unwanted display of the text is removed here...dont delete this

Interactive education modules

Man on a computer

Annually many patients and staff are injured needlessly by medical devices that are either used incorrectly or badly maintained. These injuries are often due to user error or poor systems of work, not the device function or design. In these education packages we have tried to give a generic overview of some of the devices that have been reported to us as problematic.

We have produced a series of educational packages that are simple to use, informative and should take no more than thirty minutes to work through. They have all been developed by MHRA staff, some in conjunction with and endorsement by royal colleges and some attract CPD points. They provide valuable dos and don’ts when using and operating medical devices.

The unwanted display of the text is removed here...dont delete this
The unwanted display of the text is removed here...dont delete this

Updates to your inbox

Receive email alerts straight to your inbox when this section is updated.

Reporting of adverse incidents or adverse drug reactions

Any actual, suspected, potential or avoided adverse event should be reported. Further examples of cases which should be reported are available in the sections below. If in doubt, please report. You can help us by reporting adverse incidents. These reports enable us to identify medical devices and medicines that are of concern and allow us to take appropriate action.

What should I report if I suspect a medicine is associated with an adverse reaction?
Please complete a Yellow Card to report suspected adverse reactions to prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, or herbal remedies. For further information, please see (external link).

What is a medical device and what I should report?
Please see our section on reporting safety problems.

Medical Device Alerts (MDAs)

Medical devices and equipment are items used for the diagnosis and/or treatment of disease, for monitoring patients, and as assistive technology. Medical Device Alerts (MDAs) are the MHRA's prime means of communicating safety information to medical device users in health and social care.

Report counterfeit medicines and devices

If you have been offered what you suspect to be counterfeit products, or have seen them for sale or have bought them we would like you to tell us.

If you have any concerns or information that may assist us in tracking down those responsible for counterfeit medicines and devices you can:

  • email the Enforcement Group at
  • ring our 24 hour dedicated hotline on 020 3080 6701 
  • write to us at Counterfeits, The Intelligence Unit, MHRA, 151 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London, SW1W 9SZ.

Guidance and publications

Law books - thumbnail
These guidance documents/publications all relate to areas of practice that those working in general practice may be involved in and so may be of help.

One Liners

Two people looking at a leaflet

One Liners is a short, news sheet for healthcare professionals which highlight problems with medical devices. It is a review of user issues that have been brought to our attention and are generally reports of continuing misuse of simple medical equipment.

All medical devices can fail but an increasing number of incidents reported arise out of user problems or poor practices. The aim of the One Liner is to briefly detail some of these problems in an attempt to make users more aware of what can go wrong - it is all too easy to take equipment for granted.

Page last modified: 14 March 2014