On the 13th of August 2020, NHS England published a patient safety alert for patients at risk of adrenal suppression, please see further information here.

The Ardens NPSA steroid alert searches have been designed to help practices identify patients who have recently had multiple issues of steroid medications or a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of hypoadrenalism.

To access the searches, navigate to the Population Reporting module > Ardens Searches > 1.4 Ardens Clinical Safety Searches > Medication Related Searches > NPSA steroid alerts folder:

This folder contains a suite of searches displaying patients who have been issued more than 3 steroid prescriptions within the last 3 months.  They are broken down by any steroid medication, or non-topical steroid medication, as well as separating those patients where these medications are on repeat. Whilst the NPSA alert did not specifically exclude topical steroids, Ardens’ clinical team felt that to include them would lead to excessive ‘false positives’ as most patients on topical steroids are unlikely to be having doses sufficient to cause adrenal suppression.

There is an additional search in this folder identifying patients who have a confirmed or suspected code for hypoadrenalism on their records:

You may wish to review these patients’ medication and check that they have had a steroid card issued recently. If they have not, a printable steroid card is available in the Ardens document templates folder and is called: “Corticosteroid monitoring (v14.2)(Ardens)”.

We also have an NPSA steroid card pop up alert to notify you if an at-risk patient has not had a card issued within the last 3 years and enables you to issue the card. This is triggered when issuing steroid medication (oral, rectal, inhaled but NOT topical).

If you require any further assistance please contact Ardens EMIS support:  support-emis@ardens.org.uk